Icons on the desktop make things look really cluttered, and Mac OS X has always embraced them for removable drives — but thankfully you can easily turn them off in the preferences page.

Head to the menu bar, open up Preferences for Finder, and then look at the section for “Show these items on the desktop”. That External disks one is going to be the one you want — but note, when you mount a DMG file that is also considered an external disk as well.

Uncheck, and the icons all disappear.

You can still access the external disks or any other devices by heading to Finder and looking at the sidebar.

Wondering what that orange LaCie drive is all about? I just got an external USB3 solid state drive by LaCie… and this thing is Crazy fast.

Profile Photo for Lowell Heddings Lowell Heddings
Lowell is the founder and CEO of How-To Geek. He’s been running the show since creating the site back in 2006. Over the last decade, Lowell has personally written more than 1000 articles which have been viewed by over 250 million people. Prior to starting How-To Geek, Lowell spent 15 years working in IT doing consulting, cybersecurity, database management, and programming work.
Read Full Bio »