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OS X Tip: Removing the Dashboard Screen from Mac OS X

Have you ever used a Dashboard Widget before? Yeah me neither. So why allow your widgets, that you don’t use, to eat up CPU and Memory  Don’t let that Dashboard take away from your other amazing apps running in OS X.
In case you are unaware, when using Spaces, if you gesture all the way to the left, you will by default, come to a Dashboard Widget screen. Here you can add widgets from all different companies, tools to monitor and much more. But it’s really not all that useful if you ask me.

One of the first things I do when unboxing a new Mac is to get rid of this screen all together. It really is simple to pull off.

Here’s how to remove it:

  1. Open the terminal. You can use Command + Space to bring up Spotlight and then type in “Terminal”.
  2. Copy and Paste the following into your Terminal session:  
    defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean YES 

    and press enter.

  3. Then type: 
    killall Dock

    and press enter. This will restart the dock, so you will see the dock close, and then reappear.

  4. BAM. You should no longer see the Dashboard!

Now, you may way to consider at some point in the future that you may want it back. Why? Who knows, but you may want it back. Adding it back is just as simple!

Here’s how to get the Dashboard functionality back:

  1. Open the terminal. You can use Command + Space to bring up Spotlight and then type in “Terminal”.
  2. Copy and Paste the following into your Terminal session: 
    defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean NO

    and press enter.

  3. Then type: 
    killall Dock

    and press enter. This will restart the dock, so you will see the dock close, and then reappear.

  4. You should now have your Dashboard back with all of your original widgets.

Pretty simple stuff. Hopes this helps some of you out there! Enjoy your Mac.

About Matthew Snider

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5 Replies

  1. This will happen tonight. I always mean to look up how to get rid of it, now I don’t have to!

    1. I hate it! 2nd or 3rd thing I do when I get a new machine or fresh install!

      1. What are the other things you do? This is super helpful to an OS X newbie like myself.
        Researching this Dashboard screen, I see that Apple has had widgets since like 1984 on the Mac. That makes me think: “Why not iOS?”

        1. Brian thanks for swinging by. Most things that I do when unboxing my Mac or after reinstalling the OS are under OS X Tips.
          Hope to see you again soon!

  2. […] and in some small ways even your own productivity. For example, if you don’t use your Dashboard Screen, why not stop it from running in the background eating up your machine resources. Do you have a […]

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