Use Dashboard Widgets On Your Mac Desktop [Quicktip]

Dashboard allows you to install useful single-function widgets on your Mac, for instance, the calendar, calculator, reminder, etc. However, they are only available in their own separate space, meaning that you have to go to that space to use them.

Desktop Widgets

If you’d prefer to not switch Spaces to get to your widgets, there is a way to place your widgets right on your desktop. You will need to use Terminal for this and it’s a real simple tip.

Getting Widgets On The Desktop

First we need to open up Terminal. You can launch Spotlight with the shortcut CMD + Space then search for Terminal before pressing Enter.

In Terminal, type in the following command and press Enter:

defaults write devmode YES && killall Dock

Now we need to make sure that your Mac is not showing Dashboard as its own space. Under Applications > System Preferences > Mission Control, make sure that Show Dashboard as a Space is unchecked.

Mission Control

The ability to use widgets on your desktop should now be enabled. To move a widget into your desktop:

  1. Pull up your Dashboard with the keyboard shortcut Fn + F12.
  2. Click and hold a widget you want transferred.
  3. Use the keyboard shortcut Fn + F12 again to move to your desktop, and release your widget.
  4. To put the widgets back, simply hold the widget and use the shortcut again.

Desktop WIdgets

Note: If the widget was created after the Terminal command was used, it should now be on your desktop. If the widget was already open before you run this tip, the widget will not appear until you put the following command into Terminal:

killall Dock

If you want to turn off this feature, use the commands below:

defaults write devmode NO && killall Dock