Access Mission Control Desktop Spaces Quickly With Just The Trackpad [OS X Tips]

Mission Control Trackpad Gestures

This one’s for all you Macbook and Magic Trackpad users; you know who you are. Mac OS X comes with Mission Control, a way to see all the open applications running on your Mac. Typically, you can hit the F3 key to bring up Mission Control and see what’s what on your Mac.

Similarly, you can either click on any Desktop Space across the top of Mission Control, or hit Command-Arrow (right or left) to switch to different Desktop Spaces on your Mac. This makes it easy to visually keep things separate. Some folks keep their web browser in one Desktop Space, and their word processing app in another, switching back and forth as they need the respective apps.

If you’re using a trackpad to access your Mac OS X laptop, or you’re using a magic trackpad connected to your Mac desktop, however, there are a couple of cool trackpad gestures you can use to do the same thing.

To activate the main Mission Control, simply swipe up on your trackpad with three fingertips. You’ll get the overview-style Mission Control interface, complete with open windows for every app, an app icon for each one, and the various Desktop Spaces across the top. As before, you can click on each individual Desktop Space along the top to go there.

If you’d like to just switch Desktop Spaces, then just swipe left or right with three fingertips. You’ll move from space to space, the same way you would if you hit Command-Arrow. It’s a fun way to move between Desktop Spaces, and pretty easy to get used to after just a little bit of time.

Now you know both keyboard and trackpad shortcuts to move around between Desktop Spaces and activate Mission Control. Aren’t you glad you came by today?

  • NewTexianBrew

    I love Spaces. I use it all the time.

  • cygnustm

    Isn’t it Control-Arrow to switch spaces, not Command-Arrow?

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Culture 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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