Cover your cluttered Mac desktop with Shade

Free Mac app Shade lets you simply hide your cluttered desktop instead of engaging in the painstaking process of cleaning it up and keeping it organized.

Matt Elliott Senior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
Expertise Laptops | Desktops | All-in-one PCs | Streaming devices | Streaming platforms
Matt Elliott
2 min read

Do you use a Mac? Does your Mac have a cluttered desktop? Have you tried various methods of keeping it clean and organized, only to find your various methods aren't sustainable? If you nodded in answer to the previous three questions, I would direct your mouse pointer to Shade, a free Mac app.

With Shade, you neither need to keep your Mac's desktop clean nor feel guilty about its ever-expanding mess. With Shade installed, one click of your mouse lets you pull down a virtual window shade over your desktop, presenting you with a pristine work space free from distraction.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

After installing Shade and launching it for the first time, you will see it places a small leaf icon in your menu bar. Click the leaf and the app lowers its shade over your cluttered desktop. This virtual shade covers the files and folders haphazardly arranged on your desktop but not any open windows. Click the leaf again and the shade rolls back up, revealing once again your mess of a desktop.

The default wallpaper that Shade uses is a pleasing image of blades of grass. You can add your own image by simply dragging a photo to the leaf icon.

One last note: you may need to open Finder or another app with few menu options in order to see Shade's leaf icon in the menu bar. I have a number of apps in my menu bar, so when I have Firefox open, for example, the browser's menu options sprawl so far to the right that they cover the leaf.

Shade, from Limit Point Software, works on Mac OS X 10.6 or later. I use an older MacBook Pro, but the developer claims that Shade is compatible with Retina Displays.

(Via One Thing Well)