Move Desktop folder?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by discofuel, May 15, 2011.

  1. discofuel macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2010
    How can I move the Desktop folder in my Home directory to an external drive?

    I've seen tutorials about moving the entire Home folder but I don't want to do this.

  2. dwmac macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2009
    Here are the steps:

    1. Copy your desktop folder over to whatever location you want to move it to.
    2. Create a symlink of the folder (I use SymbolicLinker, which you can get here: )
    3. Delete your desktop folder from your user folder (you'll either need to authenticate to do that or you might need to boot off a different volume (e.g. a backup) and delete the folder from afar; I can't remember).
    4. Rename the symlink from "Desktop symlink" to just "Desktop".
    5. Log out and log back in, and you should be set.
  3. discofuel thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2010
    Thanks for the instructions. However they didn't work. I now get nothing appearing on my desktop.

    Here were my exact steps:

    1. Copied my desktop folder over to my external harddrive
    2. Used SymbolicLinker to create a symlink of the folder
    3. Booted off an installation on my backup drive
    4. Deleted the desktop folder in my user account (on the original installation)
    5. Renamed the symlink to "Desktop"
    6. Copied it to my user account
    7. Rebooted back into original OS

    I also tried copying the symlink again after booting back into the original OS and restarting again but no luck.

    Any ideas?
  4. dwmac macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2009
    Hmmm.... The steps I gave (and that you followed) are exactly what I did to put my Desktop on a different drive, and it works fine for me.

    To confirm, in your user folder you have a symlink named "Desktop" to a folder somewhere else named "Desktop"? And on your actual desktop the files aren't there?

    You've tried rebooting and the problem remains?
  5. discofuel thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2010
    I tried it again and got it to work if I left the original Desktop Symbolic link in the same folder as the new desktop folder on my external.

    But then it started to do strange things like some of my drives not appearing, and then no items in the finder sidebar.

    Could it be causing issues if the external drive isn't loaded by the time OS X boots up?
  6. dwmac macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2009
    Huh, that's definitely a possibility. I've done this on my MBP, where I put the SSD in the optibay and left the HDD in the standard bay, so both drives are mounted during boot up. Maybe that's why I'm not having the problem you are.

Share This Page