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View storage device icons on your Mac desktop



Apple Mac Big Sur hard drive icon on a blue background

If you’re a fan of working from the desktop on your Mac, you may enjoy seeing icons for hard drives, removable drives, optical media, and network shares right on the desktop itself. They can be useful shortcuts. Here’s how to enable them.

To see disk icons on your desktop, we need to make a change to the Finder̵

7;s preferences. Focus on Finder by clicking the icon in your dock.

Click on the

Click “Finder” in the menu bar at the top of the screen and select “Preferences” from the menu, or you can press Command + Comma on your keyboard.

Click

When Finder Preferences opens, click the “General” tab and find the “Show these items on the desktop” section. Here’s what these options mean:

  • Hard disks: Storage devices installed on your Mac, such as hard drives and SSDs.
  • External drives: Removable storage devices, including USB flash drives.
  • CDs, DVDs and iPods: Optical media docked (if your Mac has one) and iPods connected to your Mac.
  • Connected servers: Network shares or drives that your Mac is currently connected to.

Place check marks next to each item category you want to see on your desktop.

In Finder Preferences, click

Then close Finder Preferences. If you have one of these devices connected to your computers, you should already see icons for it on your desktop. If not, you can test them by plugging in a USB drive, connecting to a network drive, or inserting a CD.

An example of drives visible on the Mac desktop.

If you change your mind and want to clean up your desktop, reopen Finder Preferences (remember Command + Comma) and turn off any drives you no longer want to see. Remember, you can still access the drives in the Finder sidebar, even if they aren’t visible on the desktop.

Have fun configuring your Mac!

RELATED: How to organize your Mac’s desktop icons





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