How to Disable Dashboard on Mac

There are tons of features on the Mac that I love to use, but there are some that get so dusty because I never even bother to use them.

Dashboard is one of those features, and I’ve always thought it was a pretty good idea to go about disabling the feature outright on every Mac I’ve owned.

In this tutorial, we’ll walk you through the process to disable Dashboard system-wide on your Mac.

Why to disable Dashboard

First of all, I know some people probably use Dashboard, but for the most part it seems like a pretty useless feature at this day and age.

With modern OS X releases, the Calculator, Calendar, Clock, and Weather widgets are pretty much useless because OS X comes with its own apps for these things. Sure, there are third-party widgets for Dashboard, but honestly, who’s really wasting their time developing widgets for Dashboards anymore? Apps is where it’s at!

Dashboard can be launched by accident when striking a key on your keyboard or when you make a wrong gesture on your trackpad, so overall, it’s just a pain in the behind if you never intend to use it.

If you feel the same way, disabling it might be a good idea for you, just like it was for me.

Disabling Dashboard on your Mac

There are two steps to disabling Dashboard on your Mac; the first is to keep it from appearing in your Mac’s Mission Control interface, and the second is to disable it from being accessed by any gesture or keyboard shortcut.

Disabling Dashboard from the Mission Control UI

Dashboard always appears in the Mission Control interface on your Mac, which is accessed by the Mission Control key, A.K.A. your F3 key.

OS X Dashboard in Spaces

To keep Dashboard from showing here, you will want to follow these steps:

1) Launch the System Preferences app on your Mac and open the Mission Control preferences pane.

Mission Control Preferences Pane System Preferences Mac

2) Once you’re in, go to the drop-down box next to where it says Dashboard, and choose the Off option.

Mission Control Preferences Pane Dashboard Off

This will hide Dashboard from the Mission Control interface on your Mac, but you still need to disable it from being accessible via any kind of gesture.

Disabling Dashboard system-wide

The next step is pretty easy. Just do this:

1) Launch a Terminal window on your Mac and enter the following command either by typing or copying and pasting:

defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean YES && killall Dock

Terminal Command Disable Dashboard

2) Press the Return key on your keyboard to carry out the command.

Your Dock will be restarted, and now Dashboard can no longer be accessed on your Mac.

Note: You can reverse this at any time by simply changing the boolean variable in the command above to “NO” instead of “YES.”

Wrapping up

Well, that about does it for how to disable Dashboard on your Mac. Since I never use Dashboard, I have mine disabled.

If you use any kind of third-party widgets on your Mac, this might be the only reason I can think of for you to keep using your Dashboard, but since most apps seem to be capable of doing things themselves, or information is shown in the Status Bar, Dashboard just seems useless in my honest opinion.

Do you find Dashboard on your Mac helpful? Share why or why not in the comments below!

  • Joshua The-Legend Wiebe

    Next lesson: How to use your old time machine backups from your old Mac to work with your new Mac.

  • Anonymous

    Is there a way to disable text edit and other (personally) use less apps.

  • Anonymous

    Also if i do everything right will this hide the dashboard app?

  • WTF? I still use Dashboard; its useful if you have the right widgets

  • Tiggara

    What is Dashboard?

  • JTGA84

    I think that Apple should redesign dashboard…. It would be a more useful app if it received a complete overhaul….

    • Lascurettes

      That’s effectively what the app panels are in the notification center.

  • Anil

    MacBook Pro 2016 – Sierra. OS has been working fine since I bought (a few weeks ago), with parallels VM and all. While exploring the features, just enabled the dashboard with 4 basic widgets. Worked ok. However, I was just trying to see if there was an option to close it (x), similar to desktop spaces. For the fun of it, removed all widgets and swiped to desktops. Did it a few times and the system hung. Basically blank screen. First time when this happened I did a cold boot. I was able to simulate this issue after rebooting. Cursor was responding. No menus at all. None of the finger gestures (no pun) worked. (Usually Linux desktops provide a terminal launch option with right click. I am a Mac newbie but not to unix.) However, moving cursor in the supposed menu area showed dropdown menu options. Go figure. From those options like recently used ones, I could launch apps, including safari, which brought me here.
    When I ran the above command in the shell, it killed dashboard and brought everything back to desktops! Before reading this I had tried a quick ps|grep hunting for a process for dashboard or anything to kill, but hadn’t found 😉
    Thanks. This post helped me.

  • mhikl

    So what’s the quick replacement for Weather widget? Run to a site on Safari? That is time consuming?
    Why does Apple not support this feature more? I found an interesting app for the moon, to check out full moon etc., and such and it only worked for American cities. Go figger!
    The computer is not dead. It will be with serious internet users forever. iPads are great for simple tasks; less useful to serious information freaks who have no interest in silly games, those who watch or even have a television. The internet is when the curious go for information.