Boot Camp: Hide a Windows XP volume on Mac desktop

So, you’ve installed Apple’s Boot Camp, partitioned your hard disk, installed Windows XP, but now you have the Windows volume showing up on your Mac desktop. You can hide it (but keep access to it), by doing the following:

Using a command-line tool called “SetFile”, you can mark the volume’s mount point as hidden. SetFile allows you to set attributes of files and directories from

First, install the Developer Tools from your OS X installation disk that came with your computer. This will install oodles of cool noodles in /Developer.

Launch Terminal.app, which is housed in the “Utilities” folder within the “Application” folder.

All mounted volumes show up in /Volumes (flash drives, USB drives, Firewire drives, internal, CDs, DVDs, etc.). Display the directory by issuing the following command within Terminal.app:

My Windows XP partition is named “Untitled”. A directory listing of my /Volumes directory shows:

Hiding the “Untiltled” volume is a snap. Again, from Terminal.app, issue this command:

/Developer/Tools/SetFile -a V /Users

Thanks to readers Epimenide and Kodafox for pointing out that the above code was hiding the /Users directory. Sorry for the confusion! The corrected form is:

/Developer/Tools/SetFile -a V /Volumes/Untitled

Now, you will need to restart Finder to have it re-read the attributes of the “Untitled” mount point. You can do this by either rebooting your Mac, or simply by issuing the following command from the Terminal.app:

killall Finder

31 thoughts on “Boot Camp: Hide a Windows XP volume on Mac desktop

  1. It can be reversed (e.g., the folder can be unhidden) by changing the “V” to a lower-case “v”:

    /Developer/Tools/SetFile -a v /Volumes/Untitled

  2. Don’t you mean
    /Developer/Tools/SetFile -a V /Volumes/Untitled

    and not

    /Developer/Tools/SetFile -a V /Users

    ??

  3. Thanks Epimenide and Kodafox for adding to the trash heap on this one. I’ve corrected the article to fix my error!

  4. What if I dont want it to mount the disk at all? I am running Parallels, and using that volume when in OS X, and since its mounted, Parallels has to unmount it first then it can use the partition. I dont access the windows partition when in OS X otherwise, so mounting it is a waste of time for me. (I tried fstab, but cannot locate the file)

  5. Charles, check out this garbage on preventing Mac OS X from mounting a volume. Thanks for the article tip! Let us know how that works out with Parallels…

  6. Hey… just curious… I get write errors when doing this, and I can’t see any difference between yours and mine. Here is the error code I am getting, and my ls -al output:

    ERROR: Write Permissions Error. (-61) on file: Untitled

    drwxr-xr-x 1 ambereve ambereve 0 Apr 22 2009 Untitled

    Any insight? Thanks!

  7. Addition to above:

    Additionally, my full ls -al looks like below, and actually looks like ._untitled has something to do with the ._iPod and ._Brad Evenst

    Wonder if I’m overlapping somehow…

    -rwxrwxrwx 1 ambereve ambereve 82 Jan 30 19:06 ._Brad Evenst
    -rwxrwxrwx 1 ambereve ambereve 82 Jan 30 19:05 ._IPOD
    -rwxr-xr-x 1 ambereve ambereve 82 Jun 19 12:47 ._Untitled
    lrwxr-xr-x 1 root admin 1 Jun 19 11:31 Macintosh HD -> /
    drwxr-xr-x 13 ambereve ambereve 544 May 18 16:06 Media and Programs
    drwxrwxrwx 1 ambereve ambereve 32768 Jun 19 11:44 My Book
    drwxr-xr-x 50 ambereve ambereve 1802 Jun 18 10:15 SystemRestore
    drwxr-xr-x 1 ambereve ambereve 0 Apr 22 2009 Untitled

  8. This can also be achieved by naming the Windows volume with a dot: Mine is “.Windows”. Because dot-files are hidden in the finder by default, the Windows volume doesn’t show up. The renaming must be done from the command line, because the Finder won’t let you start a file name with a period.

  9. Pingback: Hiding a mounted volume on MacOS » Draconis Software Blog

  10. Pingback: nohouse.dk » Boot Camp: Windows drevet væk fra skrivebordet på Mac

  11. Pingback: Command-Tab » Hiding Your “Untitled” Boot Camp Drive

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  13. Pingback: HowTo: Quitar del escritorio el molesto "Untlited" de tu partición Bootcamp

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  16. Hi, I have hidden my MBP bootcamp partition but now on my macbook I get this error?

    ERROR: Write Permissions Error. (-61) on file: Untitled

  17. You can also ad a Dot at the beginning of your windows partition while ruing windows (mac doesn’t allow it) and “Boom” (eh steve!) you windows drive icon disappears from the desktop. Of course this does not unmount the drive and you can still access it from the left menu in fonder but this was exactly what I was looking for !!!!

  18. I have to use a Mac at my job and it is very slowly growing on me. when I have to use Excel it really is a drag though because of the lack of functionality and familiarity with the XP version. I use a windows ready mac with an Intel processor. Do you think its faster to install XP as you suggest or use one of these Macs?

  19. The first time i tried this, it worked great. I did not know how to unhide it, so i looked around on the internet, played around with the terminal a bit, and now i have my Untitled drive and hidden files such as .DS_Store and .localized on my desktop and in my folders. Can anyone help with this?

  20. Pingback: Hide a BootCamp Windows Partition from the OS X Desktop | Bits of Tech

  21. Thanks everyone who suggested to rename Windows partition starting with a .dot. That’s so much easier, because you don’t have to install any NTFS-allowing software.

  22. Pingback: » HowTo: Quitar del escritorio el molesto “Untitled” de tu partición Bootcamp Blogfeed Actualización diario de contenidos

  23. I really had been seeking for tips for my very own web site and noticed your article, “Boot Camp: Hide a Windows XP volume
    on Mac desktop | Garbage In Garbage Out : Tech Blog”,
    do you care if perhaps I actually implement a handful of of your own tips?
    Many thanks ,Dillon

  24. Hi Dillon,

    It’s good web etiquette to write your own blog content, and then simply point people to the original source. That way both blogs are the recipients of traffic.

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