Messy Mac Desktop? macOS Ventura & Sonoma have a Fix!

We can’t help with a messy office desk, but if your Mac’s desktop is a confusing mess of randomly placed icons, using the Finder’s new options will make it nice and orderly.

August 28, 2023

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.

Introducing Desktop stacks

Now in macOS Ventura and macOS Sonoma, Apple has introduced an even better option called Desktop stacks. On your Mac, click the desktop, then choose View > Use Stacks or press Control-Command-0. You can also Control-click the desktop, then choose Use Stacks.

To view the files in a Desktop stack, do any of the following:

  • Expand a stack: Click it on the desktop. When the stack’s expanded, double-click any item to open it.
  • Collapse a stack: Click its Down Arrow icon.

You can You can group stacks by kind (such as images or PDFs), date (such as the date a file was last opened or created), or Finder tags.

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