How to Get the Hard Drive Icon on Mac: A Step-by-Step Guide


Ted Stinson

Getting the hard drive icon to appear on your Mac desktop is a simple task that can be done in a few quick steps. By the end of this article, you’ll know exactly how to display your hard drive icon so you can easily access your files and folders.

Step by Step Tutorial to Get the Hard Drive Icon on Mac

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand what we’re trying to achieve here. By following these steps, the hard drive icon will appear on your Mac’s desktop, providing quick access to your storage without the need to open Finder every time.

Step 1: Open Finder Preferences

Open Finder and click on ‘Preferences’ from the Finder menu at the top of the screen.

Finder Preferences is where you can customize how Finder works, including what items appear on your desktop. By default, Macs do not show the hard drive icon, but this is where you can change that setting.

Step 2: Click on the ‘General’ tab

In the Finder Preferences window, make sure you are on the ‘General’ tab.

The ‘General’ tab is where you can modify the general appearance and behavior of Finder, including the items that are displayed on the desktop.

Step 3: Check the ‘Hard disks’ box

Under the ‘Show these items on the desktop’ section, check the box next to ‘Hard disks.’

By checking this box, you are telling your Mac that you want the hard drive icon to be visible on your desktop. It’s as simple as that!

After completing these steps, close the Finder Preferences window, and you’ll see the hard drive icon appear on your desktop. Now, you can double-click on the icon anytime to quickly access your files and folders.

Tips to Get the Hard Drive Icon on Mac

  • Make sure you are logged in as an administrator or have the necessary permissions to change Finder settings.
  • If you have multiple hard drives connected to your Mac, each hard drive icon will appear on the desktop after checking the ‘Hard disks’ box.
  • You can also choose to display external drives, CDs, DVDs, and iPods on the desktop by checking the relevant boxes in Finder Preferences.
  • If the hard drive icon still doesn’t appear, restart your Mac and try the steps again.
  • Customize the hard drive icon appearance by right-clicking on it and selecting ‘Get Info,’ where you can change the icon to an image of your choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why can’t I see the hard drive icon on my Mac?

By default, Macs are set to hide the hard drive icon to maintain a clean desktop. You can change this setting in Finder Preferences as shown in the steps above.

Can I display other items on the desktop besides the hard drive icon?

Absolutely! In Finder Preferences, you can also choose to display external drives, CDs, DVDs, and connected servers on the desktop.

What if I want to hide the hard drive icon again?

Simply go back to Finder Preferences and uncheck the ‘Hard disks’ box under the ‘General’ tab.

Can I change the icon for my hard drive?

Yes, you can customize the hard drive icon by right-clicking on it, selecting ‘Get Info,’ and dragging a new image onto the existing icon in the top left corner of the window.

Will these steps work on all versions of macOS?

The steps outlined in this article should work on most versions of macOS. However, the exact wording and layout may vary slightly depending on your operating system version.


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


Having the hard drive icon on your Mac desktop is a real time-saver, allowing you to access your files with a simple double-click. The steps to get the hard drive icon on Mac are easy to follow and can be done in less than a minute. Remember, personalizing your Mac to fit your workflow is key to a more efficient and enjoyable user experience. Whether you prefer a minimalist desktop or like having quick access to all your drives, customizing Finder Preferences to suit your needs is a great way to make your Mac feel more like your own. So go ahead, give it a try, and see how much smoother your computing experience can be with the hard drive icon right at your fingertips.