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How to Fix Files Not Saving to Your Mac Desktop

Some complain that they can’t find files on their desktop, even though they’re sure they’ve saved them there. We know that this can be irritating, but we have good news for you. Your files aren’t lost, and there’s a way to find them.

There are various reasons why this could happen, from not updating your Mac to clicking on something wrong. In this article, we’ll show you how to find your files and move them back to the desktop.

Search Your Files in Spotlight

The quickest way to find your missing files is to search them in Spotlight. You can use this method to find any file or document, no matter where it is on your Mac.

Enter the Spotlight by clicking on the small magnifying glass in the top right corner of your screen. Type the name of your file and then click on Search. If you’ve entered the correct name, your file will most likely appear as a search result.

If you want to know where that file has been stored, select it and then press and hold Command. Its location will appear under the name. You can then move it back to the desktop where it was supposed to be.

mac files not saving to desktop

Your Desktop Files Could Be Hidden

Did you know that you can hide any file or folder on Mac? It can be useful in some situations, for example, if you don’t want your kids to access some critical work-related data.

However, you’re pretty sure you haven’t hidden the missing file. Well, maybe it was accidentally hidden, or perhaps some app you installed did that for you. It happens more often than you think, although many people aren’t aware of it.

It’s straightforward to check whether there’re any hidden files on your Mac. Open the Terminal app and see whether there are any hidden files on your desktop. Click on Show All Files, and you’ll be able to see both public and hidden ones. Hopefully, you’ll find the missing file among them.

files not saving to desktop

Check Your Trash Bin

This tip may sound too obvious, but sometimes the most straightforward solutions solve the problem. Maybe you’ve accidentally deleted the file, or it got automatically deleted. The only good thing is that most probably, it isn’t permanently deleted, and you can recover it.

Check your trash bin, and you may be positively surprised. Fortunately, you can recover anything you want from your trash bin in a couple of seconds.

Check Your iCloud

iCloud is one of the best inventions ever as it helps us save our files and use them whenever and wherever we want. You can connect more devices and access your data even if your Mac breaks down or you’re no longer using it. However, iCloud can sometimes be a bit confusing.

Some users complained that when they’ve turned on Desktop and Document folders in iCloud, their files disappeared from the desktop. You can easily find them by opening your iCloud and opening the Documents section. In other words, they’ve been moved there from your desktop.

If you want to avoid this in the future, there’s a way to do so. Here’s what you have to do:

  1. Go to System Preferences.
  2. Click on iCloud.
  3. Click on the Options.
  4. Enter iCloud Drive.
  5. Unselect the checkbox for Desktop and Document folders.
  6. Select “Keep a local copy.”

That way, even when you save files to your iCloud, a local copy will remain on your desktop. As you know, it’s always a good idea to have multiple copies of essential files. You never know what could happen to your device or even iCloud.

Reach Out to Apple Support

If this issue keeps occurring, we suggest you reach out to Apple Support. It may be the best solution, especially if you’re not an IT professional. Maybe there’s some issue with your Mac, and they can show you how to solve it.

If your iCloud isn’t the culprit, as we mentioned above, it could be one of the apps you have installed. Many apps have background processes unknown to users. It sometimes doesn’t make any sense, but that’s the way it is.

However, this is usually easy to solve. Don’t worry as this probably won’t keep happening after you repair your device.

Stay Cool

Our devices can be unpredictable. They can perform even the most difficult tasks quickly and efficiently, and then they do something as silly as hiding files from the desktop. Fortunately, this issue is typically a minor one. If you don’t know what to do, leave it to the professionals.

Have you recovered your desktop files? Where were they? If you have any other questions about Mac, let us know in the comments section below.