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Speed up your Mac by removing files from the Desktop Desktop
A family member owns a Mac, and he was complaining it was getting slow - especially the Desktop. He had a lot of files on the Desktop, but none of them were visible on the Desktop itself, but only in a Finder window displaying the contents of the Desktop. The Desktop only showed two icons: the main hard disk, and a Time Machine hard disk. The Desktop itself was very slow, and often displayed a beachball.

However, when I looked in the Desktop folder, there were more than 2,700 image files. When I removed the image files from the Desktop folder, everything went back to normal.

So, don't over-clutter your Desktop, as it might slow down your Mac and even hide files.

[kirkmc adds: This isn't new, and there have been a couple of hints about this in the past; the only ones I can find were in 2005 and again in 2008. I think it's worth pointing it out again, though, to users who aren't aware of the issue. If you have a lot of files on the Desktop, it will slow down your Mac; if you have Show Icon Preview checked in the View Options, it will slow it down even more. Personally, I don't put any files on the Desktop for this reason.]
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Speed up your Mac by removing files from the Desktop
Authored by: wallybear on Mar 13, '12 08:19:44AM

Just remember that every single icon on our desktop is actually a small transparent window with graphics (the icon) inside, so if you have, say, 100 icons on your desktop you have 100 windows open, each one stealing some memory.



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Speed up your Mac by removing files from the Desktop
Authored by: Auricchio on Mar 13, '12 08:50:27AM

The headline would be more correct if it read "Lots of Desktop Files can slow down your mac." That would better indicate that we're correcting an abnormal situation, not that there's some new trick.

As for the files not being visible, they're often stacked deeply in one position. They're visible, just hidden behind another icon.

---
EMOJO: mojo no longer workin'



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Speed up your Mac by removing files from the Desktop
Authored by: OmniDragon on Mar 13, '12 02:38:16PM

chflags hidden ~/Desktop/*



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Speed up your Mac by removing files from the Desktop
Authored by: marook on Mar 13, '12 04:42:29PM

Well, here, the problem is not the desktop items (as there is only two!) but the fact that there is 2700 files in ONE folder. OS X still has trouble handling folders with Many files in it..

And as far as I know, the fact about 'every icon is a window' was void with10.6 - but I like to be confirmed in that..

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/Marook



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Speed up your Mac by removing files from the Desktop
Authored by: dcottle on Apr 15, '12 03:11:04PM

Would hiding the desktop have the same results?

defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop -bool false



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Speed up your Mac by removing files from the Desktop
Authored by: Nokomis on Apr 17, '13 02:45:49PM

Would putting items into Bookmarks help?



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