How to organize the desktop on Mac

Asya Karapetyan
Content marketer, who specializes in Mac how-to guides
June 27, 2023
7 minutes to read

Organizing your files and folders on a Mac can be an overwhelming task, especially if you have hundreds of them. Fortunately, there are several techniques that can make the process easier and more efficient. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some basic tips for organizing folders on Mac to help keep your computer clutter-free.

organize desktop mac


  1. How to organize desktop on your Mac
  2. How to use desktop stacks on Mac
  3. How to make your Mac aesthetic
  4. FAQs

Before we start

Below, we explain how to organize desktop on your Mac, use desktop stacks and make your computer aesthetic. But before, we want to introduce a must-have application for every Mac user that will help you keep your system always clean from junk files and run smoothly. It’s MacCleaner Pro.
MacCleaner Pro is an all-in-one software solution to speed up and clean up your Mac. It lets you remove caches, clear leftovers of removed apps, find duplicates, uninstall unused apps, optimize RAM usage, find hidden files, and more. It offers a free trial, so you can try it right now.

MacCleaner Pro

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How to organize desktop on your Mac

Keeping your files and folders well organized is essential for finding what you need faster, keeping your Mac clutter-free, and ensuring it continues to run smoothly. To get started organizing files and folders on your Mac, follow the simple steps below.

Simple tips for organizing files and folders on your Mac

  1. Create a folder structure: Start by creating a folder structure that makes sense for you. This could include folders for work, personal, or different projects you’re working on.
  2. Use descriptive folder names: Give your folders names that clearly describe what’s in them. Avoid using vague or generic names like “untitled folder” or “My stuff.”
  3. Use subfolders: If you have a lot of files within a folder, consider using subfolders to organize them further. For example, within a “Work” folder, you could have subfolders for “Projects,” “Reports,” and “Invoices.”
  4. Use color-coded labels: Macs allow you to add colorful labels to folders, which can make it easier to visually organize and find files. For example, you could use green for work-related folders and blue labels for personal folders.
  5. Use aliases: If you have a folder that belongs in multiple places, consider creating an alias (a type of shortcut) rather than duplicating the folder. This way, you can access the same files from multiple locations without using up extra storage space.
  6. Keep your desktop clean: Avoid cluttering your desktop with lots of folders or files, or else it can become very difficult to navigate. Use folders to organize your files and adjust your structure as needed.
  7. Regularly delete unused files: Periodically go through your folders and delete any files you no longer need. This will help keep your folders organized and make it easier to find the files you do need.

Mac desktop stacks

​​Stacks is a macOS feature that allows you to group desktop icons into sets based upon their file type (images/documents/videos…), date created, tags, and more. This makes finding individual items much faster as they’ll no longer get lost among unrelated icons.

Here’s how to use Desktop Stacks on Mac:

  1. Right-click on your desktop and select Use Stacks from the context menu.
  2. Once Desktop Stacks are enabled, files on your desktop will be automatically grouped based on their file type. Mac stacks on a desktop
  3. You can also group files based on date or tags. To do this, right-click on your desktop and select Group Stacks By from the dropdown menu. Then select Date Created, Date Modified, or Tags. Grouping stacks on a Mac desktop
  4. You can customize how stacks are displayed by right-clicking on the desktop and selecting Show View Options from the dropdown menu. Here, you can choose grid spacing, icon size, text size, label position, and more. Desktop preferences window
  5. To open a stack, simply click on it. The stack will expand, and you can view all the files in the stack. To collapse a stack, click on it again. Items in a stacks

Desktop Stacks on Mac is a convenient way to keep your desktop organized and make it easier to find the files you need.

How to make your Mac aesthetic

If you’re looking for a more visually pleasing experience on your Mac, you can customize the look and feel of your desktop and interface. Here are some tips to help you:

Change Wallpaper

Choosing the perfect wallpaper is one of the best ways to give your Mac some personality. Whether it’s a stunning landscape or an abstract design that speaks to you – find something that makes you happy every time you open up your MacBook! To set up the wallpaper on macOS, do the following:

  1. Open System Settings.
  2. Click Wallpaper in the left sidebar.
  3. Choose a desktop picture. You can select one from the list that Apple provides or upload any picture you found online.
System settings showing how to change wallpaper

Customize the look of your desktop

Personalizing your desktop’s look is another great way to make your Mac more aesthetic.

  1. Change the icon size and spacing. Right-click on the desktop and select “Show View Options.” You can adjust the size of the icons and the spacing between them.
  2. Customize the dock by changing its size and position, or adding app icons to it.
  3. You can also use third-party tools to change the folders’ appearance, for example, change default colors or icons.

Use widgets

Adding widgets to your Mac can be a great way to make it look more aesthetically pleasing. Widgets are small applications that run on the desktop and provide quick access to information like weather forecasts or news headlines.

macOS has numerous built-in widgets for you to choose from, including Stocks, Weather, Calendar, and Reminders. To add one of these pre-installed widgets, simply do the following:

  1. Click in the top-right corner of your desktop to open Widgets.
  2. Scroll down and click Edit Widgets.
  3. This will bring up all available widget choices, so you can select which ones best suit your needs.Available widgets on a Mac

There are also third-party widgets you can download from the internet and add to your desktop.

Whichever ones you choose, remember to keep it simple and effective – too much clutter may work against achieving an attractive end result, while minimalism often proves most successful in terms of design principles.


All the tips provided above can vastly improve the overall organization of files and folders on your Mac. Don’t wait, start implementing these simple tips right away. Good luck! Enjoy your organized Mac, and don’t forget to regularly clean up your disk with MacCleaner Pro.


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