In Snow Leopard, I would routinely swipe up to show the desktop and then click on my "Documents" or "Downloads" stack from the dock in order to quickly move a file to the desktop.

In Lion, if I swipe up to show the desktop, as soon as I click a stack, the windows that had been cleared return to their original position. Now if I want to move a file from a stack to the desktop, I have to open the stack first and then swipe up to get a clear desktop. I realize this may be a minor point for some, but it's a feature I used all the time in Snow Leopard and I can't get used to the change in Lion.

Is there any way to change this setting in Lion so that clearing the desktop functions like in did in Snow Leopard?

Thanks in advance for any help.

  • 1
    Cannot reproduce. Are you really using Show Desktop and not e.g. showing Mission Control (all desktops, full screen apps, etc.)? Check System Preferences » Mission Control. The corresponding gesture is spreading finders. Feb 11, 2012 at 16:55
  • I'm using the spreading fingers gesture to get to the desktop.
    – Michael
    Feb 11, 2012 at 18:20

2 Answers 2


I assume you have 'tap to click' enabled?

Instead of just tapping on the stack in the dock, do a mouse click and hold down until the stack directory opens.

  • I don't use tap to click, but holding the trackpad down after clicking the stack does the trick. Thank you.
    – Michael
    Feb 12, 2012 at 14:46

I know it would have been a lot more convenient to have the stack open as it were in Snow Leopard. But I don't think this is possible.

What I do as an alternative:

  • Click on the stack first to open it
  • Start dragging the file I want to move
  • Drag the file to the bottom right corner of my screen (I have Hot Corners map Bottom Right Corner to Show Desktop) -> The Desktop is visible now
  • Drop the item onto the desktop

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