Organize Your Desktop with Mission Control & Spaces

* This article is from our Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

What is Mission Control on a Mac? It could be your new best friend if you tend to have a lot of apps and windows open. Using Mission Control, we'll show you how to see all open windows on your Mac from a bird's-eye view. We'll also cover how to use Mission Control's "spaces" feature to switch between desktops on your Mac and reduce clutter.

Related: How to Sync Messages from iPhone to Mac

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Why You’ll Love This Tip:

  • Easily find any buried window on your screen.
  • Stop wasting time sifting through windows and set up multiple desktop spaces to stay organized.

How to Use Mission Control & Spaces on Mac

When you’re working on your Mac, it’s easy to keep opening apps one after the other until you’re lost in a sea of windows. Luckily, there's an easy shortcut! For more handy tips, consider signing up for our free Tip of the Day newsletter. Now, we'll cover how to view all open windows and how to switch desktops on your Mac with keyboard shortcuts, Mission Control, and spaces.

  1. Before using Mission Control your desktop may look something like this:

    Mission Control Step 1 - Messy Desktop
  2. Use the Mission Control keyboard shortcut: Control + Up Arrow.

  3. Now you can easily view all your open windows as thumbnails. Click on the window you were searching for to bring it to the front of the line and make it your primary window. 

  4. When you open Mission Control, you also reveal your desktop spaces at the top of your screen. 

  5. To add a new space, click the Add icon.

  6. Click and drag any of your apps or windows into any of your spaces.

  7. Easily switch between desktops by clicking on the space you want to work in.

  8. You can also press Control + Left/Right Arrows to quickly switch between spaces without having to pull up Mission Control every time. 

With Mission Control and desktop spaces, you can see and organize all your open windows and give them some much-needed room to breathe.  You can have up to 16 desktops, for various purposes, such as compartmentalizing your projects. You can have a separate desktop for everything work-related, another one for gaming, one dedicated to social media, art, etc. This handy organizational tool is surprisingly overlooked, and once you start using it, you will likely wonder how you ever got along without it.  

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Author Details

Jivan Hall's picture

Author Details

Jivan Hall

Jivan has always been a big fan of Apple products since the original iPod hit the scene, and gets excited about the fast pace of technology. Jivan has a background in both business and tech, and has a degree in business administration. He loves researching new tips and ideas and sharing them with others. Jivan resides out of San Diego in sunny southern California, and tries to spend as much time as humanly possible outdoors with his two young sons playing sports, chasing waves, and on the seemingly never-ending quest for the best fish taco.