How to Put a Macintosh HD Icon on Your Desktop

macintosh hd icon

For some years now, your hard drive’s icon no longer shows up by default on your Mac desktop. If you had gotten used to having that icon there, however, you might really miss it. This article will explain how to put your hard disk icon on your desktop; you’ll see how to put other icons, like external disks or shortcuts to other folders, on your desktop as well.

Where to find the Macintosh HD icon

If you don’t see your Mac’s hard drive icon, it may never have been on your desktop. There is still a way to put your hard drive’s icon on your desktop.

  1. Open Finder. Press Command – Space Bar, then type “finder.”
  2. Go to the top menu bar and click on Finder, then select Preferences.
finder preferences menu
  1. Click on the General tab at the top of the Finder Preferences window.
  2. Under “Show these items on the desktop,” you will see a few options. To get Macintosh HD on your desktop, check the box next to Hard disks. Your Macintosh HD icon will show up immediately.
    • If you want to see any of the other options on your desktop, like external hard drives or connected servers, you can check their boxes as well.
  3. After your icon shows up on your desktop, you can click on it and drag it to your preferred location.

Creating other icons or shortcuts on your desktop

You can also create shortcuts to other folders. Macintosh HD may not be the most useful for you. Perhaps you often want to look at the files under your user directory. We’ll use that as an example and show you how to put a shortcut on your desktop.

  1. Open Finder and locate the folder you would like a shortcut for. For me, I will create a shortcut to my user directory, which is Macintosh HD > Users > stacey.
  2. Right-click (or Control-Click) on the folder name in Finder. From the pop-up menu, choose Make Alias.
make alias menu option
  1. If you are asked to approve, you can enter your password, or if you have an Apple Watch, you can approve with your Apple Watch.
alias in finder
  1. The alias, or shortcut, will appear next to the original folder. Now you can drag it to your desktop.
alias on Mac desktop
  1. If you want to change the name of the shortcut on your desktop, perhaps to take “alias” out of the name, click on the name twice (slower than a double-click), then edit the name.

Want to organize all the stuff on your Mac desktop? See How To Organize Your Mac Desktop.

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Dr. Stacey Butler is a tech writer at macReports covering news, how-tos, and user guides. She is a longtime Mac and iPhone user and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Here is her LinkedIn profile.

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