Methods to Use Stacks to Hold Your Desktop and Dock Organized on a Mac

Stacks make it easy to organize all of the files and folders on your Mac desktop. You can even use them in the dock.

Is your Mac's desktop ever so cluttered with documents, folders, pictures, PDFs, and other files that it is a chore and frustrating to find one? Fortunately, the Stacks feature lets you quickly organize your files with just a few clicks.

You can use the stacking feature on your Mac in two ways – on your desktop and in the Dock. Both of these reduce visual clutter and make your documents clearer and easier to access.

How to use stacks on your desktop

On your Mac, you can use stacks to organize the documents on your desktop by grouping them according to common properties. For example, you can group your desktop's files by type, which will stack all screenshots, all PDFs, all tables, and so on.

Using Stacks on your desktop is incredibly easy. Just Ctrl + click anywhere on your desktop and select the option Use stacks from the menu. This will instantly group your documents by type – or file type – and keep them neatly organized on the right side of your screen.

If you prefer keyboard shortcuts, you can get the same effect by pressing Ctrl + Command + Off.

To change the categorization method, Ctrl + click your desktop again and hover your mouse over it Group stacks by to display sorting options, e.g. B. by date or by tags of the documents.

Related: Find files faster and organize your Mac with Finder tags

To expand a stack to view its contents, simply click the stack icon. And of course, you just double-click a file in the batch to open it.

To see the contents of a stack without opening it, hover your cursor over the stack icon and swipe left or right with two fingers on your trackpad or one finger on your Magic Mouse.

You can also customize the look of the stacks on your desktop. Of the view Section on your desktop menu bar, select Show view options. The pop-up menu allows you to change settings such as the icon size and the spacing between the stacks.

Related: Must-Know Tricks for Mastering Your Mac's Calendar App

How to use stacks in your dock

The second way to use Stacks is to use folders in your Mac's Dock. This feature is widely used to add the Mac's Downloads folder to the Dock for easy access to recently downloaded files.

To do this, look for the downloads in the Finder. Then drag and drop the entire folder onto your dock to the right of the dividing line.

Your Downloads folder icon will appear as a stack of documents by default, but you can change the icon to the original folder by Ctrl + clicking the Downloads folder in the Dock and. choose View as> folder.

Now, to change how the folder's contents appear after it's clicked, Ctrl + click the folder in your Dock and choose an option like Grid or fan under the headline View content as. The fan view is most commonly used for stacks in the Dock, but the grid view allows you to see more files after you open them.

Of course, the Downloads folder is just one common example of implementing the Stacks feature in your Mac's Dock. Of course, you can add any other folder to your Dock in the same way for quick access to the files it contains.

Related: How To Master The Reminder App On Your iPhone or iPad

Organizing with stacks is quick and convenient

The Stacks feature on your Mac is an incredibly helpful tool. Not only does it reduce clutter, but it also conveniently categorizes your documents so you can find them quickly when you need them.

In addition, it only takes two mouse or trackpad clicks and your computer's files are neatly organized for easy access. Few other digital organizational tricks are so easy to set up!

While stacks are a quick and convenient way to organize your computer's files, there are many other methods and practices that you should consider to help keep your computer's files organized and easily accessible.

9 essential tips for managing and organizing your computer files

There's no perfect way when it comes to managing files on your computer, but these tips will help you bring order out of the chaos.

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About the author

Grant Collins
(15 articles published)

In 2020, Grant graduated with a BA in Digital Media Communication. Today he works as a freelance writer with a focus on technology. His functions at MakeUseOf range from recommendations for mobile and desktop apps to various guides. When he's not staring at his MacBook, he's likely wandering, spending time with family, or staring at a recent book.

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