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Is there a way to have a second desktop which you can put individual folders and files on it, so that the first desktop is clear without any files?

  • Maybe... I don't think you can change the "shortcuts" on your Desktop, but you can certainly have different files, folders and apps open on different desktops. I don't recall specifics about Yosemite, but there's a reasonable overview of Mission Control here. – Seamus Sep 8 '18 at 1:40
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Yes you can. Mac refers to the extra desktops as spaces. You can create up to 8 extra spaces I think and you can control them from Mission Control. The control key plus a digit will make that particular space active.

if you go to Mission Control (probably in your doc) a window opens showing all the spaces across the top. There is also a plus sign. Clicking the plus sign creates a new space. I find spaces very convenient. I have a space set up for one app and another space for a different app.

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