How to Use Dashboard Widgets on Mac Desktop

Dashboard is a feature on your Mac that allows you to add handy single-function widgets like calendars, calculators, and reminders. Normally, these widgets are confined to their own separate space, requiring you to switch to that space to access them.

Wouldn’t it be convenient if you could access these widgets directly from your desktop? Good news – you can! And all it takes is a quick tweak using the Terminal application on your Mac.

How to Place Widgets on Your Desktop

Start by opening the Terminal application. You can easily find it by using Spotlight. Just press CMD + Space, type in Terminal, and hit Enter.

Once Terminal is open, enter the following command and press Enter:

defaults write devmode YES && killall Dock

Next, navigate to Applications > System Preferences > Mission Control and ensure that the option Show Dashboard as a Space is unchecked.

Mission Control settings on Mac

With these steps completed, you can now move widgets to your desktop. Here’s how:

  1. Activate your Dashboard by pressing Fn + F12.
  2. Click and hold the widget you wish to move.
  3. Press Fn + F12 again to return to your desktop, then release the widget.
  4. To revert the widgets back to their original space, simply click and hold the widget, then use the shortcut again.

Widgets on Mac desktop

Note: If you added a widget after executing the Terminal command, it should appear on your desktop. For widgets that were already open, you’ll need to enter the following command in Terminal:

killall Dock

If you ever wish to disable this feature, simply enter the following command in Terminal:

defaults write devmode NO && killall Dock