Disable Dashboard

Controlling the dashboard. Sometimes you just don’t want it around.
Note: This is a per user setting. I do not know how to disable it by default for every user.
Possibly if you make this change to /Library/Preferences/com.apple.dashboard –

Make Dashboard go away

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

Make Dashboard come back

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

You have to restart the Dock to have this take effect

killall Dock

The terminal is your friend.

32 Replies to “Disable Dashboard”

  1. thanks! somehow dashboard was eating 100 mb of physmem. Widgets are great, but even my g5 imac was *gasp* crashing after I upgraded to Tiger! Now, thanks to you I’m back in business.

  2. Thanks for this. It has become exceedingly clear that Dashboard (WebKit?) leaks like a sieve. My Dash was using over 300MB of physical memory the other day.

    Hopefully 10.4.2 will fix it.. I miss my dash

  3. Thank you. Trying to figure out how to remove this useless junk was infuriating. Let’s add a bunch of cruft that disables the menubar or any existing standardized UI for shutting it down. Thanks a bunch, Apple…

  4. It worked, but the Dock continued to show the Dashboard icon with the active triangle below. There were no Dashboard processes, so I removed the Dashboard icon from the Dock. Curiouser and curiouser as Alice said…

  5. hmmm – well I had removed my Dashboard Dock icon long before this. So, remove away.

    Note that “TinkerTool” now has an option to disable Dashboard.
    It “knew” that I had disabled it.

  6. Thanks! However it took me several tries until I realized that this is a per-user setting — I executed this as root (yes, I’m old-fashioned :-), no sudo)


  7. Obviously been a bit dim here as the instructions mean nothing to me. Where do I type/alter/delete in Terminal? or do I go to Library?

  8. Running the dock without dashboard or running it with a dashboard that has no widgets doesn’t seem to make any difference here though, but thanks for the tip 🙂

    The 60% CPU only occured for me at first boot, but once spotlight finished indexing the mds only seems to kick in when I search for something.

  9. jason – you just type in the command after starting the Terminal application. It doesn’t matter where you are.

    I suggest that you don’t fiddle with the -g switch on defaults – it’s pretty clear that you aren’t set to muddle things in the shell (unless you know which files to backup before twiddling)

    man defaults

    would be valuable.

  10. I packaged both scripts into an executable which can be placed right on the Desktop or in your Applications or Utilities folder. Get it here: http://www.natal.be/index.php/?p=6

    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).

  11. Hi everyone,
    I see people touting memory stats.

    Although Dashboard (which is basically a baby browser) does need some RAM, be careful. Don’t blindly trust the memory measurements in Activity Monitor (or elsewhere). Shared libraries are counted twice if they’re opened by two apps, even though only a single instance actually resides in memory. This can make many applications look like they’re eating a TON of memory, even though they’re all sharing most of it. Most applications actually don’t require a whole lot.

    To detect leaks without using dev tools, watch the memory consumption of the process over time. Don’t just sample it once or twice. Leaks are obvious, because they usually appear as a steady, incremental, upward slope in the memory consumption of a process.

  12. thank you very much for sharing your insights! dashbaord is neat to look at, but I still have no need for it – now I can disable it 🙂

  13. hi can you please help me. i accedntly removed the @ apple sign off the dock which lets me go onto the internet and no i have to go through safari all the time and cant open more than one window. can you please help me find this button i cant find it anywhere.

  14. I disabled my dashboard but want to enable it again. So, I changed the value from YES to NO but it doesn’t work. Any clues as to make it work again?


  15. Hey i disabled the dasbhoard and im trying to enable it again and the command wont work. what do i do.

  16. Same problem here as Carlton Canary. To disable the dashboard, the command works fine, but to enable it again, the command doesn’t work.

  17. ok the following might be very basic a obvious but it might help;
    if you are using ‘dashboardkiller’ first make sure the app., is in the app. folder (i told you that its basic but you’ll be amazed at what people do!!)… Ok drag it to your dock…. Click on icon in dock and a small win., will come up with buttons ‘turn on’, ‘turn off’… ‘Turn off’ DBK then quit it… good so far, ok… to turn back on go to dock and select icon, small window reappears…. press F12 and everything should be back… If not you got problems…

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