Enable and Disable the OS X Dashboard Completely

If like me you never use the Dashboard within OS X, you’ll be aware that it’s silentely in the background using up some resources.  You may have removed all of the widgets from the Dashboard, but it’s still there in the background, just not displaying anything.

This process definitely works in OS X Leopard (10.5), and it may work in other versions, too – please let me know via comments below!

You can disable it completely though, with a single command in a Terminal.

To Disable the Dashboard:

defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean yes

You will need to log off and log back in to see the changes, but the Dashboard should no longer be available.

To Enable the Dashboard:

If you then decide you’ve made a mistake by disabling it, and you want it back, just swap the -boolean to “no” as follows:

defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean no

Again, you will need to log off and then back on to see the changes.