‘Disable & Enable Dashboard’ Utility

Disable / enable dashboardWhile the Dashboard in MacOSX is a neat utility, I basically stopped using it after the novelty wore off (I prefer to have my widgets on the Desktop itself, and thus switched to the now free Konfabulator).

Since I prefer not to have unused applications running and taking up memory, I tracked down this MacOSX hint to disable & enable the dashboard. It’s been commented elsewhere that running “killall dock” and never launching the Dashboard basically has the same effect. This is true but I prefer to disable the Dashboard altogether to prevent accidentally starting it up (requiring a logout & login to get Dashboard out of memory).

Using ScriptGUI I packaged both scripts into an executable which can be placed right on the Desktop or in your Applications or Utilities folder. Running “Disable Dashboard” removes it from memory and disables F12 and the Dashboard icon. Running “Enable Dashboard” restores it (with the previously running widgets still in place).

Download ‘Disable/Enable Dashboard’

Update: I have now also released a DisableDashboard-widget.

Note: as a user at MacOSX hints pointed out : “It’s probably also a good idea (that if you’ve disabled Dashboard and/or Spotlight), to remember that you’ve disabled them and re-enable them (just in case) before applying any system updates. I remember reading that some were having problems with the 10.4.1 update because they had disabled Spotlight beforehand.”

This entry was posted on Saturday, July 30th, 2005 at 15:54 and is filed under 1. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

41 Responses to “‘Disable & Enable Dashboard’ Utility”

  1. whitlock Says:

    Thank you for this clean application to turn Dashboard on and off. Dropped this into my Utilities folder and now since dashboard is off, I have more RAM to play with.

  2. razel Says:

    thanks! works great over here! :)

    OS 10.4.2 dual 2.5Ghz G5

  3. Daniel Says:

    Thank you

    Read about the terminal command on Macword new and immediately made a Quickey, Was about to Script it myself, but happy to find that you had already done so. Now I have Quickey’d your apps.


  4. J a d e * » Blog Archive » ‘Disable & Enable Dashboard’ Utility Says:

    [...] August 5th, 2005 ‘Disable & Enable Dashboard’ Utility ‘Disable & Enable Dashboard’ Utility:: haha, novelty’s gone.  till i get my 1gig ram stick [...]

  5. JCM Says:

    Thank you for this lovely little app – maybe it should be a widget (ha ha)

  6. N Vande Casteele Says:

    > maybe it should be a widget (ha ha)

    lol.. wait a minute, you just gave me an idea… :p

    Edit: the only widget you’ll ever need ;)

  7. Tranquillus - A Switcher’s Blog » Blog Archive » DisableDashboard Widget - the only widget you’ll ever need! :p Says:

    [...] et you’ll ever need: the “DisableDashboard”-widget! :p Someone jokingly commented that I should make a widget out of the DisableEnableDashboard utility. Actually, it’ [...]

  8. bas Says:

    thanks! just what my overworked mac needed.

  9. John Wesley Barker Says:

    Thank you. Just what I needed here, it works great!

  10. TipMonkies » Blog Archive » Disable Dashboard with a little widget Says:

    [...] like to disable it yourself, check out the Disable Dashboard widget which is based on the Disable and Enable Dashboard utility. After running the widget, Dashboard will disappear. Please note that you [...]

  11. supagroova Says:

    Great idea! I never warmed to the idea of widgets that aren’t on your desktop – I am back using konfabulator now too.

    Perhaps these little on/off scripts would be best as a System Preferences plugin where they can be a Start/Stop button (like most other services are controled)?

  12. N Vande Casteele Says:

    > Perhaps these little on/off scripts would be best as a System Preferences plugin where they
    >can be a Start/Stop button (like most other services are controled)?

    Check out DashOnOff, I believe it does exactly what you describe. :)

  13. Lee Says:

    Thanks SOOooo Much!
    Great WORK!!

  14. Cameron Brown Says:

    “Great idea! I never warmed to the idea of widgets that aren’t on your desktop – I am back using konfabulator now too.”

    Actually, you can. Just download TinkerTool. Then click the “General” tab, and the’res an option to Disable the DashBoard, AND to put widgets on the desktop. when that’s engaged, all you have to do is drag the widget to the desktop when leaving the dashboard pannel. I always put the Calc and the Clock on my desktop.

  15. elyse Says:

    YES! I am a high school teacher in a room full of Macs. I have a few students that no matter how often I ask, they keep going back to dashboard to procrastinate, play games etc. I hate to be the bad guy, but, it was very satisfying to see their faces when they realized I wouldn’t be asking them to close dashboard anymore, now that it is no longer enabled! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, !

  16. X-Admin » Dashboard ade Says:

    [...] Wie sich das Dashboard einmalig oder dauerhaft abschalten läßt, dass verräte Tranquillus. [...]

  17. PeterW Says:

    Could you please advise if using your program to turn the widgets off will also cure the recent problem created by Apple in the latest OSX update which causes the widgets program ot ‘phone home’ to Apple servers to verify?
    Many Thanks in advance (a new Mac user)

  18. N Vande Casteele Says:

    No, this won’t solve the issue with the dashboard phoning home. To disable that, check out this link : http://pp.hillrippers.ch/blog/2006/07/04/Disable+the+dashboardadvisory-daemon/

  19. Dashboard on / off at EMD | HUB Says:

    [...] Hi all. I just found a really cool way to turn the dashboard on / off. A while ago I circulated info on how to do it but it used the terminal and required code to be inputted each time. This is a much easier way to free up ram by turning off the dashboard and just as easy to turn it on again to play with those nifty toys. I’ve noticed dashboard uses almost 100 megs for me. Take a look at the activity monitor to see how much it takes up for you. Anyway, go to this link to download the switches. I like the idea of having the “enable” button in my dock and the “disable” widget on the dashboard itself. [...]

  20. Wayne Smallman Says:

    Doesn’t work…

  21. Buggy-Net.de - » Dashboard an - aus Says:

    [...] ‘Disable & Enable Dashboard’ Utility [...]

  22. Algovonee Says:

    osx.iusethis.com – the most necessary site!

    Good day
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  23. antek Says:

    THIS HAS COMPLETELY CHANGED THE WAY MY MACHINE WORKS… like having a brand new machine suddenly. thank you so much.

  24. Dan Diemer Says:

    I’m not sure if Konfabulator has features you need, but you can certainly use Apple Dashboard Widgets on your desktop.

    Just fire up a terminal and paste:
    defaults write com.apple.dashboard devmode YES

    Then log out and back in. Now open Dashboard, start dragging the widget you want and then hit F12 to close Dashboard. The widget will live on your Desktop now.

  25. Asorka Says:

    Thank you for you utiliy.
    You know it could be good to have this option: when we hit F12 (or the key choosen for Dashboard) we enable/disable Dashboard everytime.
    Probably it’s a slow dashboard startup each time we press the key but it’s more easy than remembering if we have disable or enabled it (probably this is useful only to people who occasionally needs to free their ram).

    Please let me know what you think about and excuse my horrible english :)

  26. Andy Says:

    Oh, and did not know about it. Thanks for the information …

  27. Jakomo Says:

    It’s not a DashBoard, it’s a DashBug!
    Some widgets are always connecting on Internet, I don’t even have a internet connection!
    The crash reporter is always talking about DashBoard.
    Thanks to that utility I will test it.

    Apple are making goog computers but they always take over the user. The simple fact that they remove the open button on their DVD drivers is showing you how much they don’t want the user to use their computers.
    They will realize that the “rest of us” are not as dumb as they think.


  28. Caroline Says:

    I finally found this site and now can ENABLE Dashboard, which somehow got disabled and I couldn’t find info anywhere on why or how, or how to get it back up. Thanks.

  29. Dashboard or No Dashboard. That is The Question Says:

    [...] UtilityHere is the link a disable dashboard utility for those who don’t like to fiddle around in the [...]

  30. Sunni Says:

    TYTYTYTYTY!!!!!!! I hate that thing coming up every time I move my mouse!!!

  31. How to OS X Snow Leopard Disable Dashboard | FairerPlatform Says:

    [...] the command-line averse, there is the Disable & Enable Dashboard Utility, which makes the process as simple as clicking a button. Get your copy [...]

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