How To – Show Widgets on Your Desktop in Mac OS X

While widgets can be handy little tools for things like weather, calculators and much more their location on the dashboard in OS X might make them a little too inconvenient for you to use on a regular basis. To access them you must open your dashboard by hitting F12 or whatever key you have mapped it too. But, with a few little tweaks to OS X you can have them sitting right on your desktop if you wish.

Show Widgets on Your Desktop in Mac OS X

1. Click on Apple in the upper left corner of your screen and select System Preferences.

2. On the top row of system preferences click Mission Control.

3. In the Mission Control preference pane, uncheck “Show Dashboard as a space” and then close System Preferences.

4. Go to Applications < Utilities < Terminal

5. In Terminal execute the following:


sudo defaults write com.apple.dashboard demode YES

6. Logout and log back into OS X or in Terminal enter:


killall Dock

7. Open your Dashboard by hitting F12 or whatever key you have set for your Dashboard.

8. Select the widget you would like to have on your desktop and while dragging it hit F12 again. This closes the Dashboard but your widget you are dragging stays selected and you are free to place it on your desktop wherever you like.

Note: Be sure to keep your mouse clicked down when hitting F12 to close the Dashboard or you will have to try again.

If you decide you would like to move your widgets back to the Dashboard from your desktop follow these steps.

1. Go to Mission Control preference pane and check “Show Dashboard as a space” and then close System Preferences.

2. Go to Applications < Utilities < Terminal

3. Execute the following in terminal:


sudo defaults write com.apple.dashboard demode NO

4. Logout and log back into OS X or in the Terminal enter:


killall Dock

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