Not sure if something like this exists in OSX. I would like to display a cheatsheet on my desktop as a wallpaper and to make it visible at all times I would like to hide all the icons/files/folders scattered on my desktop as I'm accessing them only from within the Finder anyway. So my question is if it is possible to hide everything on the desktop and show the wallpaper only but use the Desktop folder as normal and see all the files and folders when in Finder view? Using OSX Mountain Lion.
In the terminal, do this:
defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop -bool false && killall Finder
After this, there'll be nothing on your Desktop (but still in
~/Desktop, i.e. your Desktop Folder). It'll look like this:
Beautiful, isn't it? If you want to change it back:
defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop -bool true && killall Finder
There's another little free program that does exactly this, and nothing more:
It sits in the menu bar and lets you toggle icons on or off.
I don't believe you can hide files from the desktop while leaving them viewable from within the Finder, since the desktop is just a folder (
However, here's an alternative that could work:
- Open your cheatsheet image in Safari (drag and drop the image onto the Safari icon in the dock)
- In Safari, go to File > Open in Dashboard...
- Your image should be selected/highlighted, or if not, then click it to select it. Click Add in the purple toolbar.
This will create a Dashboard widget that displays your image. Now to view the image, simply toggle Dashboard (F4 on a newer Mac or F12 on an older one).
Another alternative: if you're not accessing your files from the desktop, why keep them in the
~/Desktop folder at all? Just move them to another folder.
You could try using a program called camouflage. It hides all the icons on your desktop. There are older versions available online that may or may not work with Mountain Lion, but it is also available on the Mac App Store, which will work with Mountain Lion
Version 1.25 (free - softonic.com) Free, but it may or may not work on Mountain Lion
Version 2.2.1 ($5.99 - Mac App Store) Will definitely work on Mountain Lion
Edit: if you wanted this quick switch functionality, you could write 2 little bash scripts from the top answer and put them in an Automator action and set it to sit in the top bar
Another great piece and free piece of software for doing this is XtraFinder.
It can also add to Finder very interesting options like:
- CMD-X for Cut & Paste
- Create new file (with your favorite templates)
- Arrange folders on top
- Quickly show/hide hidden files with a shortcut
All can be individually enabled.
In the various shortcuts you'll find Hide Desktop that is what you need.
I currently use XtraFinder on ML without issues. It's really light for the OS.
I'm not sure if this exactly meets your criteria, but Desktop Curtain from Many Tricks is a neat app that hides your messy desktop. $5 in the Mac App Store.
You can run the following Terminal command:
defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop -bool false && killall -HUP Finder
To undo, replace
Source: OS X Daily: Hide All Desktop Icons — No idea if it is Mavericks only.
Here's another FREE app that almost does what is requested. Instead of toggling the internal Finder default value and then killing and restarting Finder, it moves everything on the desktop into another folder and moves it all back again. Unfortunately that does not meet the original requirement of preserving access to the contents of the system
Desktop folder while the icons are hidden.
If that access is not a hard requirement, Clarity has much to recommend it. First, it does not require killing and restarting Finder, which can take a disturbingly large number of seconds. Second, it can be used to save multiple alternative desktop icon sets.
It allows you to save the current desktop arrangement of files, folders, shortcuts, etc by number and name, clear it, and then restore it, or swap to any of the saved arrangements. The saved desktops can be saved to Dropbox to make them available on other machines.