Switching Between Desktops on Mac: A Beginner’s Guide
Have you ever found yourself struggling to navigate through multiple windows and applications on your Mac? It can be challenging to switch between them efficiently when you have multiple tasks at hand. However, there is a simple solution to this problem: using different desktops.
In this article, we will guide you through the steps of switching between desktops on your Mac and provide useful tips to help you optimize your workflow.
Step 1: Open Mission Control
To switch between desktops, you first need to access the Mission Control feature. You can do this by swiping up on your trackpad with three fingers or pressing the Mission Control button on your keyboard (F3).
Step 2: Create Multiple Desktops
To create multiple desktops, click on the “New Desktop” button located on the top right corner of the Mission Control screen. You can create as many desktops as you need, depending on the number of tasks you have to complete.
Step 3: Organize Your Desktops
Once you have created your desktops, organize them according to your preferences. You can move windows and applications between desktops by dragging and dropping them.
Step 4: Switch Between Desktops
To switch between desktops, use the three-finger swipe gesture on your trackpad or press the Control and arrow keys simultaneously. This will enable you to move between the different desktops quickly.
Step 5: Use Keyboard Shortcuts
You can also use keyboard shortcuts to switch between desktops. Press Control + 1 (or any other number) to go to a specific desktop quickly.
Step 6: Navigate Through Windows
When you switch between desktops, you can also navigate through the different windows and applications within each desktop. Use the Command + Tab shortcut to switch between applications within a desktop.
Step 7: Use Exposé
Exposé is a useful feature that helps you view all the applications and windows open in a single desktop. To access Exposé, swipe down with three fingers on your trackpad.
Step 8: Close Desktops
Once you have completed your tasks, close the desktops by clicking on the “X” located on the top left corner of each desktop thumbnail in Mission Control.
Step 9: Arrange Desktops
You can also rearrange the order of your desktops in Mission Control by dragging and dropping them.
Step 10: Use Split View
Split View is a feature that allows you to work on two applications side by side in full screen. To use Split View, click and hold on the green full-screen button located on the top left corner of an application window.
Step 11: Customize Gestures
You can customize your trackpad gestures to switch between desktops more efficiently. Go to System Preferences > Trackpad and choose the “Mission Control” option.
Step 12: Use Third-Party Apps
There are several third-party apps available that can help you switch between desktops more efficiently. Some popular options include BetterTouchTool and Mission Control Plus.
Switching between desktops on your Mac can greatly improve your workflow and increase your productivity. By creating multiple desktops, you can organize your tasks and prioritize your work. You can also switch between desktops quickly using keyboard shortcuts, trackpad gestures or the Mission Control feature.
Exposé is another useful feature that helps you view all the applications and windows open in a single desktop without having to switch between them. Additionally, Split View allows you to work on two applications side by side in full screen, making multitasking a breeze.
Customizing your trackpad gestures and using third-party apps can also enhance your Mac experience and make switching between desktops more efficient.
Tips and Tricks:
1. Use desktop names to help you remember which tasks you need to complete on each one.
2. Use hot corners to access Mission Control quickly.
3. Assign keyboard shortcuts to your frequently used applications to save time.
4. Use the “Automatically rearrange Spaces based on most recent use” option in Mission Control to prioritize your most frequently used desktops.
5. Use the “Displays have separate Spaces” option in Mission Control to have multiple desktops for different displays.
6. Create custom gestures using third-party apps to switch between desktops more efficiently.
7. Use Split View with applications that complement each other to increase your productivity.
8. Use the “Require password” option in Security & Privacy settings to keep your desktops safe from unauthorized access.
9. Use the “Automatically hide and show Dock” option in Dock settings to save screen space and increase workflow.
10. Experiment with different ways of switching between desktops and choose the one that works best for you.
Switching between desktops on your Mac can be a game-changer for your productivity. By following these simple steps and incorporating these tips and tricks into your workflow, you can optimize your Mac experience and accomplish your tasks more efficiently than ever before.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Switching Desktops on Mac
1. Better organization of work: Switching desktops on Mac helps in organizing work in a better way. Different desktops can be used for different tasks, like one for web browsing and another for coding or designing.
2. Increased productivity: Having separate desktops for different tasks increases productivity as it streamlines the workflow and minimizes distractions.
3. Easy accessibility: Switching desktops on Mac is easy and can be done with just a few clicks. It helps to access different tasks quickly and efficiently.
4. Customization: Mac allows personalization of desktops with individual wallpapers, shortcuts, and icons. Users can customize desktops according to their preferences and needs.
5. Easy multitasking: Switching desktops is a great way to multitask since it allows users to simultaneously work on multiple projects without cluttering their screen.
6. Better focus: Having separate desktops for various tasks ensures better focus and reduces the chances of getting distracted by unrelated activities.
7. Enhanced privacy: Switching desktops enhances privacy by keeping personal and work-related tasks separate from each other.
8. Enhanced organization: Different desktops can be used to categorize projects and files more efficiently, making it easier to find and access them later.
9. Saves time: Switching desktops saves time by minimizing the need for rearranging windows and tabs every time a user switches to a different task.
10. Enhanced creativity: Separating work into different desktops allows users to get creative and explore different ideas without getting lost in an endless array of tabs and windows.
1. Learning curve: It may take some time to get used to switching desktops, especially for new Mac users. It may also require learning new keyboard shortcuts or gestures.
2. Limited screen space: Switching desktops may not be ideal for small screens since it takes up precious screen space.
3. Limited system resources: Running multiple desktops may require additional resources, which may slow down the system.
4. Distractions: Switching desktops may result in distractions if switchers are not organized properly.
5. Insufficient keyboard shortcuts: Some users may find the existing keyboard shortcuts for switching desktops inadequate and would prefer customizing them.
6. Lack of integration: Switching desktops may not allow for seamless integration between apps since each app is running in a separate desktop.
7. Confusion: Users may get confused about which apps are open in which desktop and may end up wasting time and concentration trying to switch between them.
8. May slow down the system: Running too many desktops simultaneously may slow down the Mac system, making it lag or even crash.
9. May result in loss of data: Switching desktops without storing or saving changes in a file may result in data loss.
10. Not suitable for all: Switching desktops may not be ideal for users who prefer a clutter-free desktop or who have limited multitasking needs.
1. How do I switch desktops on Mac?
To switch between desktops on Mac, you can either use the Mission Control feature or swipe left or right with four fingers on your trackpad.
2. Can I customize the keyboard shortcuts for switching desktops?
Yes, you can customize the keyboard shortcuts for switching desktops in the Keyboard preferences under System Preferences. Click on the Shortcuts tab, then Mission Control, and you can customize the shortcut keys from there.
3. How many desktops can I have on Mac?
You can have multiple desktops on Mac, and the maximum number of desktops you can have depends on the specifications of your Mac. However, you can typically have up to 16 desktops.
4. How do I add a new desktop?
To add a new desktop, use the Mission Control feature by either swiping up with four fingers on your trackpad, pressing the Mission Control key on your keyboard, or clicking the Mission Control button in the Dock. Then, click the add button in the top-right corner of the screen.
5. Can I move windows between desktops?
Yes, you can move windows between desktops by dragging them using your trackpad or mouse. You can also use the Mission Control feature to drag windows to different desktops.
6. How do I close a desktop?
To close a desktop, use the Mission Control feature and hover your cursor over the desktop you want to close. Then, click the “X” button that appears in the top-left corner of the desktop. Alternatively, you can drag all the windows from that desktop to another desktop and close the desktop automatically.
7. How do I rename a desktop?
To rename a desktop, use the Mission Control feature and hover your cursor over the desktop you want to rename. Then, click on the desktop name and type in the new name.
8. How can I switch desktops using the keyboard?
You can switch desktops using the keyboard by pressing the Control and arrow keys at the same time to either move left or right.
9. Can I set a different desktop background for each desktop?
Yes, you can set a different desktop background for each desktop. Go to the System Preferences and click on Desktop & Screen Saver, then select the desktop you want to change the background of and select a new image.
10. How do I see all my desktops at once?
You can see all your desktops at once by using the Mission Control feature, either by swiping up with four fingers on your trackpad or pressing the Mission Control key on your keyboard.
11. Does switching desktops affect my running apps?
Switching desktops does not affect your running apps. They will continue to run in the background even if you switch to a different desktop.
12. How do I switch to a specific desktop?
You can switch to a specific desktop by using the Mission Control feature and clicking on the desktop you want to switch to. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut Control + a number to switch to a specific desktop (the number corresponds to the order of the desktop from left to right).
13. Can I use different Spaces on different monitors?
Yes, you can use different Spaces on different monitors, as long as your Mac is set up for multiple monitors. You can assign different desktops to different monitors under the Mission Control preferences in System Preferences.
How to Switch Desktops on Mac
Many Mac users love the ability to have multiple desktops they can switch between as they work. This feature can help you stay organized, productive and focused on your tasks. Here’s how to switch desktops on Mac.
Conclusion and Closing
We’ve covered two ways to switch desktops on Mac – using Mission Control or using the Control key and arrow keys. Both methods are easy to use and can help you stay productive as you work. Now that you know how to switch desktops on Mac, give it a try and see how it can benefit your workflow.
If you have any problems or questions regarding switching desktops on Mac, don’t hesitate to ask for help. There are many online resources and communities dedicated to answering Mac-related questions and providing support to users. Happy switching!
Thank you for reading this article. We hope you found it informative and helpful. Stay tuned for more articles and tips on using your Mac.
Until next time, happy computing!