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How to create a hidden folder for your Desktop [Tutorial]

Use a couple of clever OS X techniques to keep secret files safe from prying eyes

mainNot everyone likes a clean and tidy Desktop on their Mac, preferring to have quick access to files and folders they use often in an easy- to-reach location. However, this can often get incredibly messy – soon you’ll have no space at all, and a Desktop absolutely packed full of rubbish. Thankfully, there’s a quick and simple way for you to clean up your desktop – a hidden folder. You won’t need any extra apps to create the folder, or any expert knowledge – just the instructions below and a few minutes of your time.

The technique applies to any location in your Finder, but works best on your Desktop where you can drag the folder to an obscure location to ensure it’s not found by accident. This is also a great way to hide any present ideas or important documents, like printable concert tickets or invoices including bank details, from those using your machine. We’ve detailed everything you need to know in the nine-steps across this spread.headerbar

step11: Create a folder

First, create a folder on your Desktop. Do this by right-clicking and choosing New Folder, or by simply using the keyboard shortcut Cmd+Shift+N.


2: Rename

Next, rename the folder. You need it to be invisible, so the new name needs to be made up of spaces. Tap it a number of times to make it easier to click.


3: Invisibility

Next, you need to remove the image of the folder. Your mission is to create or find a transparent image for your folder, so the Desktop is visible beneath.


4: Screenshot

Use the shortcut Cmd+Shift+3 to take a screenshot of the whole screen. This will become your invisible image in a moment – open it with Preview.


5: Delete

Select the entire image using Cmd+A and hit Backspace to delete the image but maintain the dimensions. Voilà! You have a transparent image file.


6: Crop and copy

You can crop this down to a more manageable size if you wish, but it’s not necessary. Select All again with Cmd+A and copy the image.


7: Get Info

Select your folder on the Desktop and right-click. Choose Get Info from the menu to see the file’s information, including its icon in the top-left.


8: Replacement

Click this folder icon and you will see it is highlighted with a blue glow. Hit Cmd+V to paste the transparent image into the slot, which will replace the icon.


9: Hide it

Your file is now completely hidden on your Desktop. Move it so it’s out of the way, and drop files into it if you don’t want to clutter up your Desktop.

Click Image to Enlarge: