How to Clean up a Desktop on Mac OS X

By John Ford

The Desktop is a handy place to save and keep files on your Mac. Unfortunately, the Desktop can become cluttered and messy when it's used as the default spot to keep all of your temporary files and folders. In this lesson, you will learn how to quickly clean up your Desktop on Mac OS X.

Things You'll Need

  • Mac OS X

Step 1

Click on your Desktop Background to make the Finder the active application on your Mac.

Step 2

Preform a right-mouse click or use the key combination "Ctrl-Click" to bring up the contextual menu. Hold and drag your cursor to select the "Clean Up" item in your contextual menu. Release the mouse/trackpad button to invoke the command.

Step 3

The Desktop icons will automatically be cleaned up according to your Desktop preferences. Your Desktop arrangement preferences can be changed with the Desktop contextual menu item: "Arrange By."