How to Add, Use or Manage additional desktops on Mac (Mission Control)

Mission Control on a Mac makes it possible to add extra spaces to your Mac. Spaces are extra desktops to keep your Mac orderly or to work faster and more productively on your Mac. With spaces via Mission Control, you can link specific applications to your new desktop. This is useful, for example, if you want to group applications to keep a good overview.

Mission control makes it possible to quickly switch between applications, windows, and desktops on your Mac. This is a very useful feature and makes a Mac a lot more pleasant to operate.

How can you open Mission control?

To add new desktop’s to your Mac desktop you start by opening Mission Control. You can start Mission Control using the following four methods.

  • Swipe three or four fingers up on the trackpad of your Mac or Macbook.
  • Double tap the Apple Magic Mouse with two fingers.
  • Open Mission Control through Applications (press the Command key (⌘) + spacebar and type Mission Control).
  • Press CTRL + up arrow key on your keyboard.

mission control mac

How can you add or manage an additional desktop?

First, you need to open Mission Control using the instructions above. Navigate to the navigation bar at the top of Mission Control.
Now click on the “+” button, a new desktop will be added to Mission Control.

add new space mission control mac

You can switch between desktops by using four fingers to swipe left or right on the trackpad of your Mac or Macbook. If you would like to close a space on a Mac with Mission Control, you can open Mission control, hover over the Space you would like to close and click the X icon to close it.

close space - desktop on mac

Link applications to Space (Desktop) on a Mac

To link applications to a new space, you need to start Mission Control using the instructions above.

Drag an open application to the desired space (desktop) to link the application to the space.

If you always want to open an application and assign it to a specific space (desktop) then you go to the space, right click on the application in the Dock and select Options, then “assign to” and select “this desktop”.

assign application to space - mission control on mac

You can also choose “all desktops” if you choose this option the application will be available in all Spaces. If you select “None” then MacOS will choose in which space the application will be opened.

How can you identify Spaces (desktops) easily on a Mac?

Spaces (desktops) are copies of each other when you add a new Space to Mission Control on your Mac. Spaces all use the same background. A useful way to distinguish the Spaces from each other is to set a different background per Space.

Goto the space you would like to change the background. Open the Mac settings, by clicking on the  icon in the top left corner. Select System Preferences and open Desktop & Screen saver.

change background on space mission control mac

Now set a different background to better identify the Space. I hope this tutorial has helped you better manage mission control and spaces on a Mac!

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