Clear Your Mac Desktop by Removing Unnecessary Menu Bar Icons

You know all those status icons on the right side of your Mac’s menu bar? Many of them are useful, but if your menu bar is cluttered with icons you don’t need, you can make your Mac easier to use by removing the extras. Just hold down the Command key and drag an offending icon off the menu bar; you’ll see an X below the dragged icon to indicate that it will disappear when you let up on the mouse button. If you later decide you want it back, look for a “Show icon-name in menu bar” checkbox in an associated pane of System Preferences.

Remove Unused Apps from Your Mac’s Dock

Apple puts all sorts of apps into your Mac’s Dock by default, but if you find that you never use some of those items, like Siri, Launchpad, or Maps, don’t be shy about removing them. It’s your Dock! To remove an app’s icon from the Dock, simply click it and drag it far enough off the Dock that a Remove tag appears above the icon. Let go and the icon disappears—if the app is running, the icon won’t disappear until you quit the app. There’s no downside to removing items since it’s so easy to add them merely by dragging apps back to the Dock. Most apps are found in the Applications folder.

Change How Icons Look on Your Desktop

Out of the box, icons on your Desktop are 64 pixels square. That’s a fine middle-of-the-road choice, but if your eyes aren’t what they used to be, you might prefer larger icons. Or, if you store a lot of files and folders on your Desktop, smaller icons may let you arrange everything more comfortably. To change the size of icons on the Desktop, click anywhere on the Desktop background, and then choose View > Show View Options. Use the Icon Size slider at the top to increase or decrease the icon size, and play with the Grid Spacing slider to see if it improves how your icons arrange themselves in a useful way. You can also choose whether icons preview their contents, change the size and position (bottom or right) of icon names, and display additional info about some items underneath their names.