Mac Assign Different Apps To Different Desktops

If you have multiple displays, there are two operating modes in Mavericks. You can have one big — or two independent desktops. Here's how to assign an application to a specific desktop.

Applications in OS X are by default assigned to the current desktop, so if you open a program and then switch to a different desktop, the program's windows will stay on the current desktop. Feb 06, 2016  It is now on all three desktops. Go to desktop 2 and delete it there, and it is now gone from all three. Like you, I wanted to use different desktops for different desktop folder usages. Multiple desktops is nothing more than a virtualized multiple monitor configuration, without the benefit of isolating desktop icons to a specific.

Burn movie to dvd software for mac. __________________

First, it's important to understand the terminology. A display is a physical monitor, typically a flat panel LCD device. This article focuses on a second external monitor connected to, say, an iMac or MacBook. An OS X desktop resides on a display and has a menu bar at the top and (generally) a dock at the bottom. An OS X Space is a extension of the desktop that has a menu bar and dock where apps may reside -- either duplicated or in isolation.

Multiple Spaces assigned to a desktop.

Mavericks has two operating modes, defined in System Preferences > Mission Control. The option 'Displays have separate Spaces' determines whether your two displays act as separate desktops, each with its own menu bar and unique Spaces (checked) or, alternatively, both displays are one desktop with only one menu bar (unchecked).

A log out is required after you select this option.

In the first case, (checked) the display that has the active menu determines which independent Spaces you step through when you toggle with CTRL + Right/Left arrow. Each desktop has its own Spaces, and each space can have its own wallpaper.

In the second case (unchecked), you have one desktop with one menu bar and (optionally) multiple Spaces. The Spaces stay in sync on the displays as you step through them with CTRL + Right/Left arrow. However, each can have its own wallpaper. In other words, two displays comprise one desktop. The desktop can have N number of Spaces that span both displays.

Different Desktops On Different Monitors

This tip refers to mode #1 (checked.)

Assignment of Apps

Let's say that in mode #1, you'd like to assign a given app to specific desktop. The way you'd normally do that is to right-click the app's icon in the dock. However, and here's the gotcha, if you only have one Space assigned to that desktop, the dock option (to make an assignment) does not appear.

With no extra Spaces defined.

The trick is to assign a second Space to the desktop. You do that by pressing the Mission Control button on your Mac keyboard (F3) or whatever you've assigned in System Preferences > Mission Control, and moving the mouse to the upper right of the display until you see a Plus (+) icon. Click it to create a new Space.

After you've created a second Space, your dock option will change. Now you'll see this:

AFter a second space has been defined.

Now you can assign the app to the Desktop of your choice, typically either the desktop on display #1 or display #2.

Why you have to create a second Space for that desktop before you can assign an app to the desktop is not understood by the authors at this time.

Moreover, the behavior of the 'Assign to' function appears to change across apps. For example, if you were to assign an app to desktop #1, and then move it to desktop #2 right before a log out, it may honor the assignment on log in or it may stay where you put it.

The assumption here is that the election has been made to have the app relaunch when logged back in. Otherwise, it has to be relaunched manually (unless you've designated it as a launch item in System Prefererences > Users & Groups > Login Items).

Quicken for mac air. Option to relaunch curent apps & windows at log in.

We have discovered that some apps honor the assignment made in the dock no matter what after a log out/log in sequence or a restart and some stay where you put them. Experimentation is recommended. This tip is really focused on getting to the assignment mode in the dock in the first place.

Mac Assign Different Apps To Different Desktops

Apple's implementation could have been cleaner, but the authors suspect that various apps have not been recoded to honor the Mavericks way of doing things.


MacBook Air teaser image via Apple.

You can make all of your displays mirror each other, or extend your workspace with different apps and windows on each display. If you use an external display with your Mac notebook, you can also use closed-display mode.

Check your requirements

  • Check the ports on your Mac to find out whether you need an adapter.
  • Check how many displays your Mac supports: Choose Apple menu  > About This Mac, click Support, then click Specifications. On the webpage that appears, the number of displays your Mac supports appears under Video Support.
Mac Assign Different Apps To Different Desktops

Use extended desktop mode

Maximize your workspace with extended desktop mode, which lets you enjoy full-screen apps and windows on each monitor. Then, use Mission Control to organize apps and windows across your displays. If your Dock is on the bottom of your screen, it appears on any of your displays when you move your pointer to the bottom edge of your display.

Turn on extended desktop mode

  1. Make sure that your external display is turned on and connected to your Mac.
  2. Choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, then click Displays.
  3. Click the Arrangement tab.
  4. Make sure that the Mirror Displays checkbox isn’t selected.

Arrange your displays or change your primary display

So that you can move apps and windows across your displays in one continuous motion, arrange your displays to match the setup on your desk. You can also change your primary display, which is where your desktop icons and app windows first appear.

  1. Choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, then click Displays.
  2. Click the Arrangement tab.
  3. To change the position of a display, drag it to the desired position. A red border appears around the display as it's moved.
  4. To set a different display as the primary display, drag the menu bar to the other display.

Use video mirroring

With video mirroring, all of your displays show the same apps and windows.

Turn on video mirroring

  1. Make sure that your external display is turned on and connected to your Mac.
  2. Choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, click Displays, then click the Arrangement tab.
  3. Make sure that the Mirror Displays checkbox is selected.

Use AirPlay

With Apple TV, you can mirror the entire display of your Mac to your TV, or use your TV as a separate display. To turn on AirPlay, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure that your TV is turned on.
  2. Choose in the menu bar, then choose your Apple TV. If an AirPlay passcode appears on your TV screen, enter the passcode on your Mac.
  3. Mirror your display or use your TV as a separate display:
    • To mirror your display, choose , then choose Mirror Built-in Display.
    • To use your TV as a separate display, choose , then choose Use As Separate Display.
  4. To turn off AirPlay, choose , then choose Turn AirPlay Off.

If you don't see in the menu bar, choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, click Displays, then select the 'Show mirroring options in the menu bar when available' checkbox.

Learn more about how to AirPlay video from your Mac.

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