How to Stop ‘Click Wallpaper to Show Desktop’ on Mac in macOS Sonoma

In macOS Sonoma, clicking on the desktop wallpaper hides all the active windows so that you can access and use desktop items without any obstruction. From what I can tell, this is well-thought-out and designed to keep distractions at bay. However, it can seem to be frustrating especially when you need your active windows to remain present on the desktop. Thankfully, there is a quick way to stop “Click Wallpaper to Show Desktop” on Mac in macOS 14 Sonoma or later. 

Disable ‘Click Wallpaper to Show Desktop’ on Mac 

For those unfamiliar, “Stage Manager” is a robust Windows manager primed to let you manage and switch between the open windows with the desired smoothness. 

Frankly speaking, when I first came across this “Click the wallpaper to reveal Mac’s desktop” macOS Sonoma feature, I found it weird. And it took a couple of days to get used to it. But even then there were times when I would want to keep it disabled – for good. Luckily, finding a way to get rid of it didn’t take much time. 

If you also find this behavior annoying, you can choose to hide the open windows only in the Stage Manager. To make it happen, you need to first ensure that the Stage Manager is disabled. Just click on the Control Center icon at the upper-right corner of the screen and then hit the Stage Manager icon to turn it off. 

  • Once you have turned off Stage Manager on your Mac, click on the Apple () symbol in the upper left corner of the screen. 
  • After that, choose System Settings in the menu that pops out. 
Choose System Settings
  • In the sidebar, scroll down and select Desktop & Dock.
  • Now, “head over to the “Desktop & ‌Stage Manager‌” section, 
  • Then, click on “Always” located next to “Click the wallpaper to reveal desktop”.
  • Finally, select “Only in ‌Stage Manager” in the dropdown menu‌ and you are all set!
Disable click wallpaper to show desktop on Mac

That’s pretty much it! From now onwards, clicking on the desktop wallpaper will no longer swipe away the open windows – so long as the Stage Manager is disabled. 

Hide Active Windows When You Click on Your Mac’s Desktop Wallpaper 

Later, if you ever happen to change your mind and want to get back this macOS Sonoma feature, return to the same desktop & dock settings and make the desired changes.

  • Simply, launch the System Settings app on your Mac -> Desktop & Dock -> Hit on the drop-down menu next to “Click on wallpaper to reveal desktop” and choose “Always” in the end.

Read more: 2 Ways to Fix File Sharing Not Working in macOS 14 Sonoma

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Rajesh Mishra

Editor-in-Chief: Rajesh Mishra (Your beloved “R.K” 360 Reader Voice) is a Shakespearean poet at heart who turned a tech nerd while having a secret rendezvous with iPhone 4. When that rendezvous turned obsession, he let go of his hard-core political journalism in favour of the lifelong love-affair with technology. In a career spanning one and a half decades, Mr. Mishra has crafted over 8K articles and around 2K YouTube videos. He is probably the only journalist alive with this unique achievement. When he is not at his desk, you may find him either engrossed in a Deathmatch or chasing Wordsworth!

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