New to Mac and have a question about desktop layout

iRobby

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 22, 2011
994
5
Fort Myers, FL USA
Im coming from Windows PC my Retina MacBook Pro is arriving Monday.

Quick question on some desktops I've seen here in the forums and in videos.

I was under the impression that OSX desktopshad docks on the bottom and the desktop was empty unlike Windows with icons all over the damn place.

But I've seen OSX desktops with files, folders, and hard drives on the desktop as well. Is that necessary? I'd prefer an empty desktop and just have the dock. What are the uses of having the icons on the desktop?

Here is an example:

 
Last edited:

mannyo1221

macrumors member
Sep 21, 2011
90
4
Blandford, UK.
By default you don't get any icons, most of us (me included) turn some of the common ones on, like drives, mounted network folders and removable media for example. Unlike Windows, you cannot just unplug a USB drive it must be ejected first and this requires a desktop icon (or using finder to locate and eject the drive).
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,421
759
But I've seen OSX desktops with files, folders, and hard drives on the desktop as well. Is that necessary? I'd prefer an empty desktop and just have the dock. What are the uses of having the icons on the desktop?
No, it's not necessary, but may be more convenient for some. Go to Finder > Preferences > General and check what you want to appear on the desktop.
 

nyolc8

macrumors regular
Jul 20, 2012
205
1
I'm not storing any file or folder on the Desktop, but I always set up OSX to show mounted dmgs and usb drives on the desktop.
 

iRobby

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 22, 2011
994
5
Fort Myers, FL USA
By default you don't get any icons, most of us (me included) turn some of the common ones on, like drives, mounted network folders and removable media for example. Unlike Windows, you cannot just unplug a USB drive it must be ejected first and this requires a desktop icon (or using finder to locate and eject the drive).
I'm not storing any file or folder on the Desktop, but I always set up OSX to show mounted dmgs and usb drives on the desktop.
What's a mounted network folder and mounted dmg? Also if in the future I need to use an external SSD for more storage I'd need to do this? From what I understand you telling me just unpluggingnisn't enough you need to tell the computer you are taking it out therefore locating the device or folder is easier placing it on the desktop. But what about the single files I see?

Also if I choose to do this how would I put hem on the desktop?
 

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,194
3,996
Atlanta
What's a mounted network folder and mounted dmg? Also if in the future I need to use an external SSD for more storage I'd need to do this? From what I understand you telling me just unpluggingnisn't enough you need to tell the computer you are taking it out therefore locating the device or folder is easier placing it on the desktop. But what about the single files I see?

Also if I choose to do this how would I put hem on the desktop?
Network Folder is a Share (in Windows) and a mounted DMG is an ISO disk image (in Windows). You can also place folders and/or files on the Desktop a lot like in Windows.
 

iRobby

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 22, 2011
994
5
Fort Myers, FL USA
Network Folder is a Share (in Windows) and a mounted DMG is an ISO disk image (in Windows). You can also place folders and/or files on the Desktop a lot like in Windows.
You mentioned windows so are Mounted Network Folders and Mounted DMG only used on Macs that have Windows Partitions?

I won't ve using Bootcamp or VM Fusion. Going all Mac only.
 

marvin4653

macrumors regular
Jun 11, 2012
109
5
From what I understand you telling me just unpluggingnisn't enough you need to tell the computer you are taking it out therefore locating the device or folder is easier placing it on the desktop. But what about the single files I see?

Also if I choose to do this how would I put hem on the desktop?
It's a similar process to what you're probably used to in Windows. In Windows, if you want to remove a USB flash drive/external hard drive, you typically navigate over the "Safely Remove Hardware" icon in the tray (by the clock), click it, and choose your USB or other device that you want to remove. On a Mac, you can locate the connected device (either appearing as an icon on the desktop, or in Finder [the equivalent of Windows Explorer]), right-click the connected device's icon, and choose "Eject" (you can actually do the same thing in Windows rather than going through the Safely Remove Hardware process, but I think most Windows users do it the latter way). Thus, having your connected devices show up as icons on the desktop can make it easier to eject them before disconnecting them.

As far as single files or folders, you can save things to the Desktop or drag things there, just like in Windows.


You mentioned windows so are Mounted Network Folders and Mounted DMG only used on Macs that have Windows Partitions?

I won't ve using Bootcamp or VM Fusion. Going all Mac only.
He was just giving you the equivalent Windows terminology so that you'd understand what he meant when he said "Mounted Network Folder" or "DMG."
 

iRobby

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 22, 2011
994
5
Fort Myers, FL USA
Thank you all! I guess moving over to OSX isn't as complicated as I thought it would be. Been wanting to switch since I got my first iPhone in 2009 (iPhone 3GS). Can't wait til Monday when my MacBook Pro Retina arrives.