Customize Mission Control To Show Only Windows From Current Desktop Space [OS X Tips]

Mission Control

When you activate Mission Control, it will show you all the windows for currently running apps, as in the screenshot above. If you click on a window that’s in a different Desktop Space, your Mac will swoosh you over to that window, taking you out of the Space you’re currently in.

To avoid that from happening, you can force Mission Control to only show you windows from open apps in the current Desktop Space. Here’s how.

To get Mission Control to only show you open windows from the current Desktop Space, type or paste the following into your Terminal app (/Applications/Utilities):

defaults write com.apple.dock wvous-show-windows-in-other-spaces -bool FALSE

Then, restart the Dock process, which also controls the Mission Control process, by typing the following into Terminal and hitting the Return key:

killall Dock

Now you’ll only see windows from the currently active Desktop Space when you activate Mission Control, either with a keystroke or from the Dock. Want to put it back the way it was? Simply issue the following command in Terminal:

defaults write com.apple.dock wvous-show-windows-in-other-spaces -bool TRUE

Then restart the Dock process again, with a killall Dock command. Simple? Yes!

Related
  • ChadGleaves

    Why kill your mission control? I have a track pad and i 4 finger up for mission control (all windows) and 4 finger down for windows open for just that program. I set it up in the track pad settings

  • patrickahles

    In Mountain Lion Mission Control already shows only the windows for the current desktop… At least on my MBP.

  • Amr Khalifa

    I don’t know how your Mac is set up; but I have two Macs, and on both machines, Mission Control only shows the app windows from the current desktop space, not the others. This is how it has always worked for me. I don’t know why yours is different.

  • BrainGameMayhem

    Mission Control already shows only the app windows open on the current Desktop space. Am I missing something?

  • Vertigo Bird

    Or, you could not click on a window in another Space? Why would switching to that space/desktop be unexpected behavior? Or did I miss something?

    As a side note, you can preview any space in the main Mission Control window without switching to that space by holding down the “opt” key, then clicking on another space. It won’t switch to that space until you click again (with out the “opt” key).

  • wytchkraft_corp

    this is what still hasn’t convinced me to upgrade…I’m still with SL and I absolutely love the Exposé+Spaces functionality: I can display all the spaces, use exposé to display the apps on the current space, or use them together to display all the apps in all the spaces, drag apps from space to space, or change spaces, even merge spaces with a single keyboard combo…and I haven’t seen the equivalent control level on Lion or ML…but I know I’ll have to let go eventually

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Games and Tips Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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