A Minimal Workspace on macOS

Ask me for a screenshot of my desktop and all you get is a wallpaper – if I’m using any. Everything else is hidden, unless actually requested by me.

That’s the way I work on macOS. The minimal way.

My macOS desktop. This + Spotlight = life. 😎

In my workspace, there are no desktop items, app icons, time clock, battery percentage, transition delays, distracting animations, dashboards or context menus.

Too much information makes it easy for me to get stimulated and then distracted. So I like it minimal.

Recipe for the minimal 👌

Get rid of everything you can. Hide. Disable. Assume everything is useless, not useful. (I actually use this approach for life.)

You’ll get frustrated sometimes, because there are simple things you want so bad to get rid of but then found out it’s impossible unless you hack things. SRLSY GOTTA LOVE APPLE 😍😍😍

Well, let’s begin! Follow the steps below and type the commands in a terminal. If you’re not familiar with a terminal, I’m pretty sure it’s possible to find those settings in “System Preferences” as well.

(…But I highly recommend you to open a terminal and start typing around because SRSLY USING A TERMINAL IS LIKE KNOWLEDGE AND POWER 4 UR ENTIRE LIFE!!!)

Hide your desktop

It’s easier to live without than to live with it. Disable it and it won’t be something you have to clean up anymore!

defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop -bool false

Hide your dock

It’ll be only shown when you hover it.

defaults write com.apple.dock autohide -bool true

Other cool things you can do too to keep your dock clean are:

# Minimize windows into their application's icon
defaults write com.apple.dock minimize-to-application -bool true

# Wipe all (default) app icons from the Dock
defaults write com.apple.dock persistent-apps -array

Because I initialize apps from Spotlight, I really don’t mind not having any app in my dock. Sometimes I ask myself why do I have a dock at all. 🤔

And… Launchpad. WHY??? 😭

Hide your menu bar

It’ll be only shown when you hover it.

defaults write NSGlobalDomain _HIHideMenuBar -bool true

I really like this one, but if you feel it's too radical for you, try hiding only menu bar icons with Vanilla (recommended) or Bartender.

Disable dashboard

Why does it even exist? 😒

# Disable Dashboard
defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -bool true

# Don't show Dashboard as a Space
defaults write com.apple.dock dashboard-in-overlay -bool true

Disable and/or speed up animations

Saving some time because I don’t think those really add anything to my user experience on macOS.

# Disable window animations and Get Info animations
defaults write com.apple.finder DisableAllAnimations -bool true

# Remove the auto-hiding Dock delay
defaults write com.apple.dock autohide-delay -float 0

# Remove the animation when hiding/showing the Dock
defaults write com.apple.dock autohide-time-modifier -float 0

# Don't animate opening applications from the Dock
defaults write com.apple.dock launchanim -bool false

# Speed up Mission Control animations
defaults write com.apple.dock expose-animation-duration -float 0.1

Finally, restart system stuff:

killall Finder; killall Dock; killall SystemUIServer

And that’s it! 🎉 Life-changing commands for sure. Now just don’t forget cleaning your actual desk too.

For more on the way I work, my dotfiles are worth-checking!

Sorry for using too many emojis. Just shipped this feature here on my blog and I can't help myself! 😬

Tags: productivity