Change icon's visibility on desktop

Being concerned here only with visibility, I can “change the visibilty” of a desktop icon by moving to a folder and back with a script. This makes it look like its appearing and disappearing on the desktop.

:arrow: Is there a way to truely change the “visibility” property of a desktop icon so that its there, you just don’t see it until you change it back to visible?

I tried a simple “set visible of the_Icon to false” but no go. Also, can this be done natively on the system with no OSAX additions?


I’m afraid you can’t because the visible property is “read only”. There are osaxens that will do the job but I think you don’t want to use them.


I was looking for Visibility to see if it was r/o but I was so tired when I posted that last night I coundn’t even find it in the dictionary :shock:

Hi sitcom,
It’s my contention that you wanting to make a file disapear from the GUI, without actually deleting it. If so then what your wanting to do is make the file Hidden.

This can be done using a shell script either from the Terminal Cmnd Ln or via the: -
“do shell script” from within Applescript: -

mv ~/fileName .fileName

This shell Cmnd simply changes the name of the specified file in your Home Dir to include a dot prefix. Thus, “~/” is short for Home Dir.

Furthermore, any file with this prefix should be rendered Hidden. Although, it’s poss to insert a dot prefix using native AS code, for some reason it doesn’t render the Target File invisible.

Warning: Since white space in shell scripts are used to separate a Cmnd from its Params & Params from each other, it’s not Poss to just casually use white space in file &/or folder names. However, if it’s necessary for your file or folder names to include spaces, then all white space must be escaped using the “” Char.

Example: If the Target File is called file Name, then it would have to be rewritten in the Terminal as: file Name - Note that the white space is still included.

----Making Your Hidden Files Visible Again:----
mv ~/.fileName fileName

----List Hidden Files----
The follolwing Cmnd allows you to view all Hidden files in your Home Dir: -

ls -a ~/

Hope this helps!


Thanks for the tip!