Declutter Your Mac Desktop

Mac: Some people keep their computer desktop neat. Some people are happy to keep their desktop messy. For those who want a clean desktop but have trouble maintaining it, there's Declutter.

Screenshot: Nick Douglas

Keeping your desktop clean might speed up your Mac, but it will definitely help you feel less distracted, even calmer. You could just make a folder on your desktop and dump all your files into it. But you might want a little more organisation, and you might want an app that automatically moves the files for you. This is the solution.

Declutter ($14.99) adds a few folders to your desktop, and filters your files into them whenever you click the "DECLUTTER NOW" button. You can choose from a few default folders such as Pictures and Documents, and add your own, filtering by file name or extension. I made one for every PNG with "Screen Shot" in the name.

Declutter's simple dialog for adding smart folders. Screenshot: Nick Douglas (Declutter)

Declutter can also automatically filter your files at regular intervals, from one minute to eight hours. The first few times it happens, you might feel a little nervous when all your files disappear. You'll get used to it.

Declutter isn't the first app to try this; we've featured others. But Desktoday shut down and Clean started annoying users with ads for other apps. Also, we don't recommend Declutter Pro, the subscription-based version of the app; this feels more like a one-purchase utility.

Hazel, a more advanced alternative. Screenshot: Nick Douglas

For $US32 ($41), competing app Hazel offers a dizzying array of advanced filters and actions. You can filter files by things such as tags, creation or modification dates, file contents, and combinations thereof. You can tag files, move them in and out of folders, import them into iTunes or Photos, even run scripts. You can schedule daily or weekly actions. It's a really powerful way to automate all your file organisation. But if you just want to clean up your desktop, Declutter is enough.

Declutter [Mac App Store]


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