OS X: Hide Your Hard Disk from the Desktop

If you want to hide the Hard Disk icon from your desktop so that you can maintain a clean look, follow this Tech-Recipe. These directions are accurate for all modern versions of OS X including 10.7 Lion.

1. Open Finder.

2. Go to Preferences.

3. Select the General tab.

4. Uncheck the Hard disks checkbox.

5. Close the Preferences window.

Update 2/28/2012 –

This continues to work for OS X Lion as well as this screen shot shows:

lion finder preferences dialog


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17 Responses to “OS X: Hide Your Hard Disk from the Desktop”

  1. February 11, 2009 at 11:36 am, Brian said:

    Um.. i donno why but mac dosen’t let me hide the hard disk. Only thing that can be hide is External disks. Does anyone know the solution for this problem T_T?


  2. March 01, 2009 at 8:55 pm, Easter said:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!
    I could not for the life of me figure out how to get those off!!!


  3. May 24, 2009 at 1:02 pm, Brian said:

    If you want to hide just one:
    SetFile -a V “/Volumes/DiskName”

    Use a small V to bring it back:
    SetFile -a v “/Volumes/DiskName”

    You need to restart Finder (or reboot) for the change to be visible. I do this for my TimeMachine/TimeCapsule volumes.


    • February 14, 2011 at 1:02 pm, Anil Kumar said:

      No need to restart, Just Relaunch Finder…


  4. May 29, 2009 at 11:47 am, Mark said:

    To Brian:

    SetFile -a V “/Volumes/Bootcamp HD”
    -bash: SetFile: command not found

    What’s wrong?


  5. October 30, 2010 at 3:11 am, Arvivi said:

    Great help, thanks!


  6. November 29, 2010 at 5:12 pm, Richard Chen said:

    Thank you. My 2-year-old managed to do this (or some equivalent), and I couldn’t figure out how to reverse it.


  7. February 28, 2011 at 9:42 am, Arnold said:

    Thank you for your information. I’ve attempted to do what you described at the top of this page, but I was blocked. When I went to the preferences panel and clicked on the general tab, among other differenced there was no ‘show these items on the desktop’ heading, no list. Despite hours of looking on the internet for clarification, going to many sites, I got no where. The sites that gave the same procedure as you gave above all referred to the same preference panel, etc. Why is it so hard so many times to fix extremely simple things on the computer!!!!! I have an Mac OS X, version 10.5.8 Thank you for any help. Sincerely, Arnych


    • February 28, 2011 at 10:22 am, David Kirk - Founder/Editor said:

      Sorry, Arnold. This method continues to work on all the versions of OS X that I have here. I even just tested it for OS X Lion. I even updated the article to show a screenshot from the new OS.


  8. February 28, 2011 at 4:33 pm, Arnold said:

    Hi David. Thanks for your reply. The only thing I can think of is that my preference panel set up must be because of some unknown preference
    set-up for the panel. I’ll look into this to see if this may be possible.


    • February 28, 2011 at 4:52 pm, Anonymous said:

      Let us know if you figure it out. If you are having the problem, others might be as well.


      • February 28, 2011 at 9:10 pm, Arnold said:

        OK David, I will. Arnold


  9. March 01, 2011 at 4:29 am, Arnold said:

    Hi David. I found the problem. It was me. Not being computer knowledgeable
    at all unfortunately, I mistook one information pane for another; that, and one other piece of information about how the desktop works, cleared things up. Sorry to have taken your time! Thanks for your help. Arnold


    • March 01, 2011 at 12:28 pm, Anonymous said:

      Cool! Glad you figured it out.


  10. July 27, 2012 at 2:15 am, Alexa said:

    I can’t find the right preferences panel. The one that
    the computer takes me to after I pick general, gives me
    appearan, highlight color, show scroll bars options

    but no hide icons options.

    Can you help me figure out what I”m doing wrong?


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