What do you use your OS X desktop for?


macrumors 65816
Original poster
Dec 5, 2010
Do you keep files on it? Is it always empty? Is it a photo slideshow?


Oct 10, 2013
Pretty much anything you can think of.
Photo editing, web browsing, word, excel, web hosting, file and media storage ...

Jessica Lares

macrumors G3
Oct 31, 2009
Near Dallas, Texas, USA
I don't keep permanent files on it, but I will sometimes organize/edit stuff into folders or whatever there before dumping them into Documents/etc. I just have a static image at the moment.


macrumors 68000
Aug 26, 2006
Atlanta, GA
Do you keep files on it? Is it always empty? Is it a photo slideshow?
You mean like my iMac? I use it heavily for all sorts of things. Documents, 3D modeling, CAD, database design, image work, etc. It has tons of files on it, and mirrors major folders with my laptop.

I assume the thread is assuming that most people just use mobile devices nowadays and that they are acceptable for almost everything. Absolutely not true for me.

DOH! I just figured out you meant the desktop in finder....

Mine has top-level folders organized by major discipline...Work, 3D modeling, Media, Downloads, and Miscellaneous. I also dump temporary files there when I'm working on stuff for quick, easy access. I also show connected hard drives there.


macrumors regular
Jul 25, 2013
I use my desktop to store some files that I am too lazy to move elsewhere. I do also have a shortcut to the networks area in Finder. My desktop is also my default screenshot loaction.

Having a lot of files on the desktop is not recommended, because it slows you down. My recommendation is to keep the desktop as clean as possible.


macrumors 603
May 22, 2008
Milwaukee, WI
I have some aliases (to keep the Dock less crowded) and my drives. I also might have one or two files that are temporary and soon to be trashed.


macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
A place to temporarily keep any and everything. I find it a convenient place to drop stuff to when dragging and dropping especially if I'm working on some sort of project like when video and photo editing. For example if I rip the sound from something else to use in a video I'll store it there until I'm done with the video before deleting it.

Since I can be dropping files there that use large amounts of storage I find Apples iCloud desktop thing a bit annoying. I turned it off but I think it turned my document folder syncing off too, something I really need to get around to investigating. Maybe someone can point me in the right direction for that? Or not whatever....not trying to hijack...


macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2010
To be honest I use it like my physical desktop Which means its littered with useless junk

stuff I havent found a place for yet, pdf prints I just want to email and cant be bothered to put anywhere in particular

plus a whole host of untitled folders that I've used to stick the last few weeks worth of junk in every time I run out of room to fit any more junk on it

Around once a year I roll up my sleeves give it a spring clean, shuffle the best of it to more sensible places then throw the rest in the trash

works for me :)