Apple kills the Dashboard in macOS Catalina

In macOS Catalina, Apple has killed off the Dashboard, and at least one person will miss it dearly.

Lily Hay Newman for Wired:

Apple had telegraphed earlier this summer that Dashboard was about to meet its end, but that didn’t make the news any easier for me, the only person I know who was using the feature every day.

Dashboard was a sort of second desktop that you could populate and customize with simple programs, called widgets. It launched with 14 basic options developed by Apple, including Weather, Dictionary, World Clock, Calendar, and Calculator widgets. One of my favorites was Stickies—floating yellow boxes that you could type notes into and “stick” onto your desktop. Another joy of widgets: Outside developers could make them, too. An entire ecosystem cropped up…

It wasn’t anything flashy, but I found it useful to have all of these tools in one place just a keyboard shortcut away.

MacDailyNews Take: Ah, memories, of a feature we never used. Longtime Mac users never really embraced the Dashboard. Yes, we knew it was there and how to get to it (and we even made a MacDailyNews widget for it way back when), but the Dashboard was never something we ever got in the habit of using.

Dashboard fans: use the “Today” tab within your Mac’s Notification Center to replace your Dashboard widgets. There are more available via the Mac App Store. Just search for “Notification Widgets.”


  1. Seriously, MDN? I got my first Mac in 1989, so I think I can consider myself a longtime Mac user. I use Dashboard CONSTANTLY, and the only reason I use Notifications at ALL is because Apple turned off the Weather widget. Don’t make assumptions you have no way to back up.

    Biggest problem with the Notifications tab is that it’s vertical and narrow. I have a HUGE monitor and I want to use all that space! A swipe on a Magic Mouse beats moving to the corner and scroll… scroll… scroll… until what I want to see appears.

    Please… stick to news and drop the judginess.

  2. I’d consider someone like me who’s used the Mac since 1986 to be a justified “long time Mac user” and I DO “embrace” using the Dashboard every day, so you don’t speak for me. I was ready to update to Catalina over my Thanksgiving vacation, but now I will be waiting a long time. I use the Dictionary/Thesaurus all the time, the world clocks, the stocks, the dictionary, the MacDailyNews widget, the calendar and the conversion widget, all just a screen shift away. This change is worse than removing colored folders.

  3. I used the dashboard widgets (stickies especially) every day. I did not see this coming and am distressed. I recorded innocuous passwords and usernames for certain sites that I didn’t want to save in their respective apps. Is there anyway to recover what I lost?

    1. Hopefully someone will have a clever answer for you…but I suspect other than restoring your old installation, you’re probably out of luck. For this reason, before upgrading my OS, I always clone my present system to an external drive I can boot up into…just in case. That has saved me a lot of grief in the past. I can always boot up into my old system if needed.

  4. I have used dashboard for quick access to dictionary, widgets and stickies since their inception. I found that my office software (excel, word, etc.) would no longer open and that the “upgrade to Catalina” meant an annual financial $oftware agreement to keep office. I already paid for the previous version and don’t want to have to rebuy it every year.

    I gave it a week and went back to Mojave 10.14.6. I will not upgrade to Catalina unless I have to. The loss of Dashboard annoyed me, but holding my office software hostage is unacceptable.

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