How to Show Your Hard Drive on Your Desktop on a MacBook Air: A Step-by-Step Guide

Showing your hard drive on your desktop on a MacBook Air is a simple task that can be done in just a few clicks. By following the steps outlined below, you can quickly display your hard drive icon on your desktop, making it easier to access and manage your files.

Step by Step Tutorial to Show Your Hard Drive on Your Desktop on a MacBook Air

Before diving into the steps, let’s understand what we’re about to do. We’re going to tweak the Finder settings to make the hard drive visible on the desktop. This visibility allows for easier navigation and file management directly from the desktop interface.

Step 1: Open Finder Preferences

Click on the Finder menu in the top left corner of your screen and select ‘Preferences.’

Finder Preferences is where you can adjust how your files and folders are displayed in the Finder window. It also controls what icons appear on your desktop.

Step 2: Click on the ‘General’ tab

In the Finder Preferences window, click on the ‘General’ tab to access the desktop settings.

The ‘General’ tab contains various settings that affect what you see on your desktop and how items are displayed.

Step 3: Check the ‘Hard disks’ box

Under the ‘Show these items on the desktop’ section, you’ll find a checkbox labeled ‘Hard disks.’ Click this box to put a checkmark in it.

By checking this box, you’re telling your MacBook Air to display an icon for your hard drive on the desktop.

After completing these steps, your hard drive should now be visible on your desktop. You can double-click the icon to open it and start browsing your files.

Tips for Showing Your Hard Drive on Your Desktop on a MacBook Air

  • Keep your desktop organized to avoid clutter, which can make it harder to find your hard drive icon.
  • If you have multiple hard drives or partitions, you can choose to show or hide each one individually by checking or unchecking them in Finder Preferences.
  • Remember that showing hard drive icons on the desktop can be reversed by simply unchecking the ‘Hard disks’ box in Finder Preferences.
  • Consider labeling your hard drive if you have more than one, to easily distinguish between them on the desktop.
  • If you prefer a clean desktop, you can create a shortcut (alias) to your hard drive in the Dock for quick access without showing it on the desktop.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why can’t I see my hard drive on my desktop even after checking the ‘Hard disks’ box?

If your hard drive icon isn’t showing up after following the steps, try restarting your MacBook Air. Sometimes a quick reboot can refresh the settings and make the icon appear.

Can I show external hard drives on the desktop too?

Yes, external hard drives can also be displayed on the desktop. Follow the same steps in Finder Preferences and check the ‘External disks’ box.

Will showing my hard drive on the desktop slow down my MacBook Air?

No, displaying your hard drive icon on the desktop won’t affect your MacBook Air’s performance. It’s merely a shortcut for easy access.

Is it possible to change the hard drive icon on the desktop?

Absolutely! You can customize the hard drive icon by right-clicking it, selecting ‘Get Info,’ and dragging a new icon onto the existing one in the top left corner of the ‘Get Info’ window.

How do I hide my hard drive from the desktop again?

To hide the hard drive icon, simply go back into Finder Preferences and uncheck the ‘Hard disks’ box. The icon will disappear from your desktop.


  1. Open Finder Preferences.
  2. Click on the ‘General’ tab.
  3. Check the ‘Hard disks’ box.


Having your hard drive displayed on your desktop on a MacBook Air can significantly improve your workflow and file management. It’s a handy feature that Apple has included for users who prefer to have quick access to their drive. Whether you’re a professional who constantly deals with large files or a casual user who likes to keep everything within reach, showing your hard drive on your desktop is a simple yet effective customization.

Remember that Finder is the key to many useful tweaks on your MacBook Air, and knowing how to navigate through its preferences can unlock a host of personalization options. Whether you choose to keep your hard drive visible on the desktop or opt for a cleaner look, the choice is yours, and it’s good to know how to toggle this setting whenever needed.

If you’ve never tried showing your hard drive on your desktop, give it a whirl. You might find that this little change makes a big difference in your day-to-day computer use. And who knows, it might just be the productivity boost you’ve been looking for on your MacBook Air.

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