How to Customize Stacks on Mac

* This article is from our Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

Mac desktop organization tips are always handy for those who eschew clutter. Mac stacks make desktop organization simple, and customizing stack titles, order, and appearance makes using them even more fun. We’ll show you how to customize stacks on your Mac to suit your needs.

Related: How to Use iOS Widget Stacks: Your Complete Guide

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Note: If you haven't already, you'll need to enable Mac stacks. Once you've done this, use the guide below to edit stacks on your Mac. As an added bonus, you can still use many of these settings to customize your Mac desktop icons even if you don't use stacks!

Here's how to customize Mac stacks:

  1. Control-click anywhere on your Mac desktop.
  2. Select Show View Options

  3. To change the way your files are grouped into stacks, select an option from the drop-down menu next to Stack By.
  4. You can sort by Kind (file type), Tags (an assigned name and color), or by one of the date options. 

  5. To set a specific file order within each stack, select one of the options next to Sort By.
  6. You can sort by Name (alphabetically), Kind (file type), Size (file size), Tags, or one of the date options.

  7. To increase the size of your desktop icons, click and drag the Icon size slider to the right. To decrease icon size, drag the slider to the left.

  8. To increase the amount of space between each stack, click and drag the Grid spacing slider to the right. To decrease the space between each stack, drag the slider to the left.

  9. To change the font size of file and stack names, select an option from the Text size menu.

  10. To set whether file labels appear below or to the right of icons, select one of the options beneath Label position.

  11. To see the number of items in each stack, check the box next to Show item info.

As you can see, there are a lot of options for personalizing Mac stacks. Now that you know them, hopefully you'll be able to enjoy a Mac desktop that's more suited to your preferred desktop aesthetic! If you love desktop and Home screen organization tips, try signing up for our free Tip of the Day newsletter. We'll send you quick tips and hidden tricks to help you make full use of your Apple products. 

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Author Details

Ashleigh Page's picture

Author Details

Ashleigh Page

Ashleigh Page is an Associate Editor for iPhone Life. A longtime Apple enthusiast with a Bachelor's in English and Computer Science and three years of experience writing about tech, Ashleigh has written and tested hundreds of articles about devices and features within Apple's ecosystem. She specializes in iPhone, iPad, AirPods, and Mac content and has authored a 60-page in-depth guide about the Apple Maps app. Based in North Carolina, Ashleigh is often crafting whimsical (and sometimes nonsensical) short stories and hiking when she's not working.