TechFriday: Clear your head by clearing the Mac desktop

Posted By on January 23, 2015

If you are an Apple Macintosh user and have been living with a cluttered desktop, give the free program Hocus Focus a try … if you like it, make a donation.

hocusfocusscreenThe purpose of the small program is to automatically hide unused but opened applications and windows so it is easier to focus on the task at hand. I regularly have a dozen or so windows and apps open on my 27” iMac and clutter is something I’ve learned to live with … until now. I liberally use the cmd-h and cmd-TABBER in order to rotate into the correct program, but having automatic timers for cleaning “certain” windows from the desktop is helpful.

For example, I run a virtual hocusfocusrunningWindows 7 PC desktop using Parallels to display a live screen of stock tickers and charts and often work on top of it with other applications. Sometimes its just the Apple Messages app or the calculator a program that doesn’t need to stay “on top”… but one I don’t mind keeping open. What is nice about Hocus Focus (its predecessor was Houdini) is that each profiles can be customized and apps given different time parameters for “hiding.”

My only only nit is that I run a full virtual window for all the PC based applications rather than the Coherence mode (not sure how Hocus Focus handles that?) and so everything in the Parallels window is either all hidden or ALL showing. This is probably more of “my problem from 30 years of using Macs” than a problem with the software. I assume each Coherence window could be managed separately and might have to give it a try … someday, but not now. Time will tell IF I opt to change my ways … but for now if you are using a cluttered Mac, give Hocus Focus a try.


Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.