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  1. #1
    Changing filepath of the Desktop

    Member Since
    Jul 09, 2011
    Posts
    5
    Question Changing filepath of the Desktop
    Hey everyone,

    So I couldn't decide whether to post this in hardware or software, but I figured it is primarily a software issue.

    So I have a macbook, running on a 128GB SSD as the primary drive. Now, I purchased an optibay adapter, and a 1TB hard-drive, which was recognized with no issue whatsoever, and allow me to say that I would take the second hard-drive over a DVD drive ANY DAY! (apple are you listening?)

    Now here is my question, I am finding that what is eating up SSD space is desktop files. I know that I could just store everything on the 2nd hard-drive and access from there, but 20 years of going to the desktop for the files I am working on makes that a little difficult.

    Is there any way within OSX to define the file path that the desktop reads from? I know I could add a folder called "desktop" to the sidebar of finder, but I am unsure how to proceed with changing the physical desktop to the new folder.

    Any help much appreciated!

  2. #2
    Changing filepath of the Desktop
    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 30, 2007
    Location
    The Republic of Neptune
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    7,637
    Quote Originally Posted by judah View Post
    Hey everyone,

    So I couldn't decide whether to post this in hardware or software, but I figured it is primarily a software issue.

    So I have a macbook, running on a 128GB SSD as the primary drive. Now, I purchased an optibay adapter, and a 1TB hard-drive, which was recognized with no issue whatsoever, and allow me to say that I would take the second hard-drive over a DVD drive ANY DAY! (apple are you listening?)

    Now here is my question, I am finding that what is eating up SSD space is desktop files. I know that I could just store everything on the 2nd hard-drive and access from there, but 20 years of going to the desktop for the files I am working on makes that a little difficult.

    Is there any way within OSX to define the file path that the desktop reads from? I know I could add a folder called "desktop" to the sidebar of finder, but I am unsure how to proceed with changing the physical desktop to the new folder.

    Any help much appreciated!
    It's possible to move the user home folder entirely to another drive using an option in the Account preferences (right-click on name, then hit Advanced). This is not without downsides, most importantly being that Time Machine will not backup your home folder if moved to another drive. Moving your Desktop folder itself wouldn't make much sense eitherů unless you are storing files directly on it, you wouldn't save much space. If you are storing a lot of stuff on the Desktop, it'd make more sense to stop doing that. Use folders on the other drive and place aliases to those folders on the Desktop, or add them to the Dock.

    There are other ways to move specific files/folders that OS X expects to find in a certain spot. I have a blog entry pending that discusses this specifically, but here's a thread that illustrates how using symlinks would help another member in a similar predicament:
    http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/swi...ds-backup.html

  3. #3
    Changing filepath of the Desktop

    Member Since
    Jul 09, 2011
    Posts
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by lifeisabeach View Post
    Use folders on the other drive and place aliases to those folders on the Desktop, or add them to the Dock.

    There are other ways to move specific files/folders that OS X expects to find in a certain spot. I have a blog entry pending that discusses this specifically, but here's a thread that illustrates how using symlinks would help another member in a similar predicament:
    http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/swi...ds-backup.html
    Great thoughts, I can't believe years of computing and I forgot about alias folders. I guess I thought it had to be complicated....I was wondering why google didn't turn up much! haha....

  4. #4
    Changing filepath of the Desktop
    vansmith's Avatar
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    As lifeisabeach has noted, the only way to do this would be to have your user directory exist elsewhere since your Desktop just displays the contents of the Desktop folder in your user directory. That said, you're probably best leaving your user directory on the SSD - you'll only run into issues having it elsewhere.

    It would seem that you purchased the external drive to accommodate the fact that you're running out of room but you also don't want to change how you store files. Something's going to have to change .
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  5. #5
    Changing filepath of the Desktop

    Member Since
    Jul 09, 2011
    Posts
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by vansmith View Post
    It would seem that you purchased the external drive to accommodate the fact that you're running out of room but you also don't want to change how you store files. Something's going to have to change .
    I generate about 150GB of files a week for my job, and have plenty of external storage (12TB and counting). The optibay adapter was to allow me to keep working on current files without having to worry about backing up and deleting current files EVERY week, but to make that closer to every month.

    I think, as lifeisabeach mentioned, the best option is to have alias folders on the desktop pointing to my 2nd hard-drive, that way I can just keep backing up and wiping hard-drive number 2, and not worry about cleaning up SSD files. Like you said, I think I am running myself into issues by making this too complicated!

    Thanks!

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