OS X: Hide Your Hard Disk from the Desktop

Posted July 20, 2008 by Rob Rogers in Apple Mac, Mac OS X Leopard

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


About Rob Rogers

Once a prolific author here on Tech-Recipes, Rob has moved on to greener pastures.
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  • Brian

    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?

  • Easter

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

  • Brian

    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.

    • Anil Kumar

      No need to restart, Just Relaunch Finder…

  • Mark

    To Brian:

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

    What’s wrong?

  • Arvivi

    Great help, thanks!

  • Richard Chen

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

  • Arnold

    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

    • 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.

  • Arnold

    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.

    • Anonymous

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

      • Arnold

        OK David, I will. Arnold

  • Arnold

    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

    • Anonymous

      Cool! Glad you figured it out.

  • Alexa

    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?