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New to Mac? Learn the Basics of Mission Control

Written by Hassan Abbas

While it seems like you’re an astronaut ready for a space adventure. Mission Control on your Mac gives you an overview of your desktop. You can see your open windows and Split View screens, and then move between them easily. It works with a dual monitor setup and multiple desktops.

For new Mac users who may not be familiar with how to use, access, or adjust the settings for it. Our guide teaches you the basics of Mission Control on Mac.

Mission Control On Mac:

Accessing Mission Control:

You’ve got a few convenient ways to access Mission Control, so you can use any one that is most comfortable for you.

  • Swipe up with your fingers on your trackpad.
  • Now Double-tap with two fingers on the surface of your Magic Mouse.
  • Use the keyboard shortcut Control + Up Arrow.
  • Use the Mission Control key on your keyboard (note: you may need to hold Fn when clicking the Mission Control key).
  • Click the Mission Control icon in Launchpad or if you have it in your Dock

Using Mission Control

After opening Mission Control, you can switch between the open windows of your apps. Just move your cursor and click the one you want to use.


If you are using Split View, and have a window in a full-screen view, or create multiple desktops, these are at the top of the Mission Control screen. So you can click to move to one of these easily.

Full-screen windows

From the top of Mission Control Screen, you can take a window out of a full-screen view. Simply click the arrows on the top left of the thumbnail or drag it out of the top area. This will return it to its original size.


Create another Window:

If you want to create another desktop with an open app in a full-screen view, just drag the app window on Mission Control Screen and when you see the plus sign, release.

Split View windows

You can also create Split View screens easily in Mission Control. Keep in mind one of the windows appears at the top as a thumbnail. Then drag the second window on top of that thumbnail and release it on either the right or left of it.


You can exit the Split View and return the apps to their own smaller, separate windows the same way as you do full-screen windows. Either tap the arrows on the thumbnail at the top of the Mission Control screen or just drag the Split View thumbnail out of the area.

Multiple desktops (Spaces)

For multitasking, you can create multiple desktops (Spaces) in Mission Control. Just click the plus sign to the right to add a desktop.


All desktops you create will show across the top so you can switch to one with a click. But you can move between them using gestures too.

  • Swipe left or right using your fingers on your trackpad.
  • Swipe left or right using two fingers on the surface of your Magic Mouse.
  • Use the keyboard shortcuts Control + Right Arrow or Control + Left Arrow.

To rearrange desktops, just click, hold, and drag a thumbnail to its new spot at the top. To close a desktop, click the X on the top left of the thumbnail in the Mission Control screen.

Changing Mission Control settings

Using another feature you can adjust some settings for Mission Control. Open System Preferences using the icon in your Dock or Apple icon > System Preferences from the menu bar. Then, select Mission Control.


You can then enable or disable these options:

  • Automatically rearrange Spaces based on the most recent use
  • When switching to an application, switch to a space with open windows for the application
  • Group windows by application
  • Displays have separate Spaces
  • Mouse and Keyboard shortcuts


Mission Control is one of the amazing and features of macOS. Once you start using it you can quickly switch between open apps, add windows to Split View or create multiple workspaces.

Are you going to start taking advantage of Mission Control on your Mac? Let us know what you find the most useful in the comments!

Also Read: App Turn iPhone into an iPod Classic with Click Wheel & Cover Flow

About the author

Hassan Abbas

Tech enthusiast with too many items on his wish-list and not nearly enough money! Specializing in all things tech, with a slight Apple bent he has been writing for various blogs for the best part of (too many) years

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