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How to hide your Desktop icons during a presentation

13th January 2020 | posted by David Acland | Tags: ,

If you have ever presented from your Mac and showed the full contents of your Desktop to the participants, then this guide is for you!

The steps below will add a button to your macOS menu bar that you can use to hide/show your Desktop icons on demand.

TL;DR – There’s a video at the bottom that walks you through it.

Step 1

Open the AppleScript Editor here: /Applications/Utilities/Script Editor.app

Step 2

Open Script Editor Preferences from the Applications menu bar, select “Show Script menu in menu bar” and deselect “Show Computer scripts”

Step 3

In Script Editor, select “File” and “New” to create a new script and paste in the following contents:

set command to "defaults read com.apple.finder CreateDesktop"
try
	set status to do shell script command
on error
	set status to "1"
end try

if status is "0" then
	do shell script "defaults delete com.apple.finder CreateDesktop;killall Finder"
else
	do shell script "defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop -bool FALSE;killall Finder"
end if

Step 4

Select “File” and “Save” with the following properties:

  • Name: “Desktop Icons”
  • Format: Script
  • Location: ~/Library/Scripts (the Scripts folder in your home Library folder)

Tip: To access ~/Library/Scripts from the Save dialog box, press “Command + Shift + G” and paste in the path.

Video example:

You should now have the script available in your macOS menu bar to show and hide all Desktop icons on demand!


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