Hiding Desktop Clutter with DeskShade

One thing I try to keep on my Mac is a clean and organized desktop. Sometimes when working on larger projects I let it slip and never really get around to cleaning it up like I should. Eventually, when I do get up the courage to try and organize all of the files into folders and subfolders, I find myself wondering where I put that one file I need at that moment and wishing I would have just left everything as it was.

DeskShade from MacRabbit is an application that allows you to cover up all of that clutter with a background image of your choice. It also allows you to require a password to unlock the computer and get back to the main desktop so you can see and use all of that clutter again while preventing others from beating you to it.

How it Works

DeskShade works conveniently by placing a small icon in the menubar. This is where every option in the application resides.

The main option here is known as “Desktop Central.” Using this option you can change the background image of your current desktop as well as the background image of your desktop when it is covered up.

Desktop Central

Desktop Central

DeskShade will also allow you to select a video of your choice and use it as a background. You can set the video on a loop, choose the placement, and select the volume level so the video looks and plays exactly how you would like.

Video Preferences

Video Preferences

DeskShade starts with the background images that come with O SX. However, one neat feature is that within Desktop Central the user can drag and drop new images or videos to make them available for use in DeskShade.

Using the App

DeskShade is a very simple and easy application to use and configure so it works just the way the user wants it to.

To hide your desktop, simply go to the menubar icon and select “Cover Desktop.” The Cover Desktop item will then be checked and your desktop will be nothing but the background image you have selected it to show. To show the messy desktop again, repeat the process and uncheck the “Cover Desktop” Option.

If the user selects the “Lock Computer” option, nothing will show but the background image or video and a lockbox that must have a valid password entered to gain access to the computer.

You can set keyboard shortcuts for these options in the application preferences as well as your desired password.



Setting Custom Preferences

From the DeskShade menubar icon, you can select “Preferences” to customize the way DeskShade interacts with your desktop and Mac.

The general preferences menu options include: iPhoto integration, starting DeskShade on startup, and showing/hiding the dock when the desktop is covered or the computer is locked.

Some of the more advanced features are also accessible through the preferences menu. By selecting DeskLock options, you can set a custom password to make it a requirement to enter that password before being able to access the computer and the messy desktop again. You can also set a specified time period for when you would like your Mac to lock after it has been idle for that certain amount of time.



Other Great Features

A couple of other more advanced features DeskShade offers are the ability to log what has happened on your Mac since the last time you locked it and the include image editing features.

When the computer is accessed after being locked, it will give the user a log of what went on while they were away. This way, if someone tries to access your computer with a wrong password you will know it!

Hacker Log

Hacker Log

Some of the more unique features included in this application are the built-in image editing tools. In “Desktop Central”, when the user selects an image it will allow them to adjust the hue, saturation, and brightness of the image. After doing so, the new image can then be saved and used as a background without harming the original image.

Final Thoughts

You can buy DeskShade for the price of 12.95€ (around $18.00 for all you folks in the US). However, the nice people over at MacRabbit have a 15 day fully functional trial on offer so you can test DeskShade out before you buy it.

DeskShade is a great piece of software and definitely worth taking a look at. The fact that this application is so customizable really does it for me. That, mixed with a bunch of cool features make it a must-have for any Mac user with a cluttered and messy desktop.