I have a 2020 iMac running Catalina. I would like for my internal drive and my external drives to show up on my desktop. Currently I have a blank desktop. I have tried going to Finder/Preferences and selecting the General tab. From General I check the boxes for Hard Disks and Internal Disk but they don't show up. Is there a command line tool to display them?

When I first started my new computer the internal drive and the external drives all showed up on my desktop. Later that day I used migration assistant to transfer the files i wanted to to my new machine. Since then none of my drives show up on the desktop.

  • If the Finder pref doesn't work, why would a command line? They should appear top right, under the date & spotlight menu items. The pref switch in Finder is instantaneous [with a small fade in/out].
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 19, 2020 at 17:05
  • i didn't know if there was another command other than using the command line. When i tried the Finder/Preferences method it didn't work.
    – Natsfan
    Sep 19, 2020 at 17:18
  • When i first started up my mac all my mounted Volumes appeared on the desk top. Later that day I used migration assistant. Since then all the drives have vanished from the desktop.
    – Natsfan
    Sep 19, 2020 at 17:21
  • You ought to include that information in your question - random weirdness after Migration Assistant doesn't surprise me at all these days. I've lost all faith in it. I'd very carefully check what else is wrong - or better still, use a clone of your old drive rather than trust Time Machine.
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 19, 2020 at 17:35
  • @user3439894. That worked!! If you want to post that as an answer i'll accept it! Thanks very much...
    – Natsfan
    Sep 19, 2020 at 19:43

1 Answer 1


In Terminal, run the following compound command:

defaults delete com.apple.finder; killall -HUP Finder

Then go to Finder > Preferences… > General and under Show these items on the desktop, check Hard disks and check External disks.

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