See for example

This article

Or this one

Or this one

Now, the answer to this question seems to suggest that the problem is icons on the desktop needing to be repeatedly redrawn, but the articles seem to indicate that it's a problem even if you've got stuff tucked away in a folder (there's some conflict on this point in the linked articles).

So is having lots of stuff (e.g. 2700 jpgs) in a folder on the desktop a performance killer? Is it the number of files? Their size? Both? If it's not still a problem when did it stop being a problem?

I ask in part because the desktop stacks in mojave seem to be encouraging this practice, when I had always thought that the received wisdom was to not do so.


Adding files to the file system should not (in theory) consume any extra system resources other than space in persistent memory (be it solid state or physical disk), with the obvious exceptions like file system journaling/integrity checks and the like, pre-emptive caching, etc. Certainly, viewing a bunch of files in Finder (especially with e.g. image thumbnails) will use system resources like processor/main memory/etc, but I have read (in the articles linked above) that just having a large number of files on the Desktop, even inside a folder where they are not being drawn to the screen, does in fact consume these resources (and to a large degree at that) on MacOS/OS X. More so than having the same files in a different location on the filesystem. Is this true?

  • Possible duplicate of apple.stackexchange.com/questions/41417/… Sep 28 '18 at 13:25
  • @GrahamMiln I believe I addressed why the question is not a duplicate (I even linked it) in my question... how does that question (or it's answers) address the case where the icons are not actually displayed on the Desktop (e.g. in a folder)? Sep 28 '18 at 13:30
  • My concern is that the question is opinion based – how slow is too slow? On what configuration – spinning drive or solid state? As is, it is difficult to answer in an Ask Different appropriate manner. Sep 28 '18 at 13:44
  • @GrahamMiln edited for clarity. Better? Sep 28 '18 at 13:57
  • 1
    I agree with GrahamMiln: this is opinion-based. Vote to close. Sep 28 '18 at 15:17

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