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How to create custom Stacks on macOS Mojave

Stacks are a new feature on macOS Mojave that help keep your desktop clean. If you have a habit of saving files to the desktop, it’s definitely a feature that you should use. Unfortunately, the way Stacks are created is very rigid. You don’t get to choose which files are included in a particular Stack however, there’s one way to get around this limitation; tags.

Files on macOS can be tagged. It’s a stock feature and it’s incredibly easy to use. Stacks can be created based on tags which allows you to essentially create custom Stacks on Mojave.

Create custom Stacks

Since we’re using tags to create custom Stacks, you need to first tag the files you want to add to the same stack. Visit each file in Finder, or on your desktop, right-click it and select a tag from the context menu. Tag all the files that you want to group together.

Next, go to your desktop and on the menu bar, go to View>Group Stacks By and select the ‘Tags’ option.

The Stacks on your desktop will change; all tagged files be grouped by their respective tags, and all files that are not tagged will be grouped into one Stack.

If you decide to create Stacks using tags, you will need to make an effort and tag the files that you add to your desktop as you add them. If you don’t tag files properly, the untagged ones will all go into one stack. Essentially, the stack will become a dump for all untagged files.

You can change how stacks are created any time you want though. When it suits you to have them grouped by tags,  you can use it as the criteria for creating stacks. If you ever need to change it to file type, you can. It will get rid of the stack that contains untagged files and group them by type.

Unfortunately, you cannot apply more than one criteria for creating stacks. Maybe future versions of macOS will refine this feature but Mojave is its first iteration so it’s basic for now. Stacks aren’t a unique concept; there are plenty of apps that let users create virtual folders on their desktops. Some are far more sophisticated than Stacks are. Desktop Groups Lite is one app you can try. It’s not free but we’ve covered it before and it allows users to create custom groups of files on your desktop.

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