Mission Control is a powerful tool that is used by many different Mac users. If you are a person that always has many different project going at the same time, then it is great to use Mission Control to your benefit. Mission Control is a window and app manager that is built directly in Mac OS X. Mission Control combines Virtual Desktops or also known as Spaces, application switcher and a window manager into one centralized location on your Mac.

There are three different ways to access Mission Control. The first way to access is through your Dock and then your Applications folder. Another way to access Mission Control is to use your trackpad using the three finger swipe method. The last way and most commonly used method is the two finger tap on Mac’s magic mouse.

Simple Tips To Get The Most Out Of Mission Control

1. Show All Windows Belonging To A Single Application

This function was one of the functions that came over from Expose to Mission Control in OS X Lion. Mission Control can display all of the applications open windows. You will move the cursor over the applications icon on the Dock and then do the three finger swipe down. If by chance you are using an older Mac without an trackpad, you can use a keyboard shortcut, Ctrl + Down Arrow combination.

2. Rearrange Desktops and Full Screen Applications

You can easily rearrange multiple Desktops and full screen applications when you are in Mission Control. You will be able to rearrange by simply dragging the window or application to a new location within the Space Shelf.

3. Assign Different Apps To Desktops Spaces

When you have at least two different Spaces available you will want to assign an application to one of the spaces. To do this you will right click on the Application on the Dock and choose “Options” then “Assign to Desktop”. Once you have completed this, you will be able to select the application you want to transfer to the assigned desktop.

4. Move Windows Between Different Desktops

To be able to move windows between different desktops, you will need to have multiple desktops already created. You will also need to enable Desktop Space control keys. To do this you will go to “System Preferences” then click on “Keyboard” then “Keyboard Shortcuts”. Under Mission Control, you want to check next to Switch to Desktop 1,2 and 3. To easily move the windows you will press and hold on any window title bar and hit Control +2.

5. Close Desktops & Spaces

While in Mission Control, you will want to hold the “Option” key to close Spaces. Closing a Space that contains an active window will bring the windows together to the nearest Space. This is fastest way to merge two Spaces together.

6. Speed Up Mission Control Animations

Speeding up Mission Control animations will make Mac OS X Lion feel a lot faster when you switch between windows, spaces and applications. This is a very easy process to do and to reverse if you decide you don’t like it. You must launch Terminal to be able to start this process. You will want to place the following tag into Terminal, “defaults write com.apple.dock expose-animation-duration -float 0.15”. Then you will kill the Dock to restart Mission Control, “killall dock”.

If you want to Mission Control to go back to normal then you will want to reopen Terminal and put in the following command, “defaults write com.apple.dock expose-animation-duration; killall dock”.

Mission Control Is Giving Us A New Way To Explore Our Windows and Applications

Spaces and Expose have wrapped into a new unified system that is great for all Mac OS X Lion users. It is a new and improved system that still has the best of what Snow Leopard had to offer. Mission Control gives us a new way to view, navigate, open windows and applications that is more simple than ever. Now you will be able to get the most out of mission control and become more proficient.

50 Melisse Deering


Melisse Deering is a trained Mac expert as well as a passionate Mac user. She quickly realized the significance of Mac’s user friendliness and advanced features, motivating her to become an avid user and sequentially an expert.