I'm wondering if there's a way to disable the dashboard in Mountain Lion. I never use it and I think it's consuming processor and memory powers.
With macOS 10.10 Yosemite or later, you can go to
System Preferences → Mission Control and switch Dashboard to Off.
On any OS with Dashboard, you can disable it through Terminal with the following command:
defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean YES && killall Dock
It can be re-enabled with:
defaults delete com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled && killall Dock
If you don't want to use Dashboard at all, free Apps are available to disable & enable (if you wish to revert) it including:
Alternatively see also this Youtube tutorial published on August 9th 2013 entitled "Removing the Dashboard (MacMost Now 902)"
Or you could just uncheck the 'Show Dashboard as a Space' checkbox in the Mission Control settings
No hacks/apps or terminals needed.
Before you start you can Launch Activity Monitor and filter by dashboard to see this work.
Remove all dashboard items and see that the dashboard process disappears. Add them again and all is back to normal. And then use Greg's answer to remove it from Spaces.
To permanently disable Dashboard
enter these commands, authenticate when prompted:
defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean YES; killall Dock sudo mkdir /System/Library/LaunchDaemons\ (disabled) sudo launchctl unload -w com.apple.dashboard.advisory.fetch.plist sudo mv /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.dashboard.advisory.fetch.plist \ /System/Library/LaunchDaemons\ (disabled)/