Clean Up Your Mac’s Desktop with Sort Options

The bottom half of a laptop computer on a desk with assorted papers and office supplies laying around

When we help someone with their Mac for the first time, we often notice that their desktop is a disaster. Icons are scattered willy-nilly and often piled on top of one another, making it hard to locate anything. For most people, the solution is easy—sort the contents of the desktop. In the Finder, choose View > Show View Options. We recommend choosing Date Modified from the Sort By pop-up menu to put your most recently used files in the upper-right, but other criteria might work better for you. If you have so many icons that they overlap, try reducing the icon size or grid spacing. You could also choose Date Modified from the Stack By pop-up menu to collect icons into stacks by date.

Finder's View Options

(Featured image by Chernetska)

One Comment

  1. Thanks, Tim, for addressing this issue, as my desktop is a mess. My challenge with your post is the visual that you show does not look like the one I find when I follow your directions. Not sure why, but perhaps you know. My current computer is an iMac, macOS Ventura Version 13.5.2

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