Mac Tip: Where Has My Hard Drive Gone In Mac OS X Lion

Posted in How To, Mac on 19/09/2011 by Mark Greentree


This Mac tip is provided by Mark Greentree and was originally posted on Mark’s blog – Everyday Mac Support. For more of Mark’s tips visit his site, follow him on Twitter, or browse his archive of posts here.

How To: Where Has My Hard Drive Gone In Mac OS X Lion

By default, Apple has changed the way in which the internal hard drive and external drives and optical discs are displayed on your Mac’s desktop. You will notice when using Lion for the first time that no drive is shown on the desktop.

Now personally, I like to have my drives present on the desktop which will allow me quick and easy access to all areas of my Mac. However, Apple believe that many users do not need the drives on the desktop hence they are now hidden.

In order to put your drives back on the desktop simply proceed to the Finder preferences by clicking Command-, (Comma) on your keyboard whilst in the finder as shown below:

You can also navigate to Finder-Preferences from the menu bar at the top of your display.

Then to proceed make sure you are in General tab as presented below:

As you can see from the image above I have highlighted the area which will allow you to present attached drives of your choosing to the desktop.

By default in Mac OS X Lion none of these options will be selected. In order to add them once again to your desktop simply select the ones you wish to use.

Of course, at anytime you can return to this area and deselect them, therefore removing them from view on the desktop.

For more helpful tips, check out our full collection of tutorials by visiting our How-To category!

  • Bradley Dichter

    Old news dude. Snow Leopard and maybe Leopard too, this was the factory default not to show the hard drive, etc. on the desktop.

    • Yes it is. 

      New users to the platform may not know of these default settings. This article is for them not the more experienced Mac user.

    • Will

      And?! As a new to MAC user I found this VERY helpful as I need to move a few things around. People like you make me laugh, ‘Old News Dude’, try to be positive or keep your comments to yourself

  • haha thank you. I indeed missed it

  • Martin

    Also under the “Sidebar” option you can select your own Mac under the list – it’ll be the only one not checked – so that the hard drive icon doesn’t need to be on the desktop.

  • edgar r

    Thank you very much i was worried ,but no more I prefer no hd in my desktop.

  • Nicola

    Thanx for the help appreciate it 🙂

  • Aleksanteri Sumiloff

    Apparently in Yosemite you cannot see your main drive even when this setting is on. At least this is my case and it makes me super confused.


Mark Greentree

Mark Greentree is the principle blogger and podcast creator of Everyday Mac Support. His aim is to inform users at all levels of experience how to get the most out of the Apple hardware and associated software. He is the lead host of Not Another Mac Podcast, an Apple based round table discussion with Mac users and experts from all over world.