Customizing macOS: How to Disable Spaces and Use Alternative Solutions

Customizing macOS: How to Disable Spaces and Use Alternative Solutions

MacOS, Apple’s operating system for Mac computers, offers a variety of features to enhance productivity and organization. One such feature is “Spaces,” a virtual desktop management tool that allows users to organize their workspaces into different desktops.

While Spaces can be a valuable tool for multitasking and keeping work organized, it may only be some people’s cup of tea. Some users prefer alternative methods for managing their desktops or need help finding Spaces for their workflow.

This article will explore how to disable Spaces on macOS and introduce alternative solutions to help you customize your desktop experience to suit your needs.

Understanding Spaces

Before we delve into disabling Spaces, let’s briefly understand what it is. Spaces is a macOS feature that allows users create multiple virtual desktops, each with its set of open applications and windows. It’s a way to categorize tasks and switch between them seamlessly.

Spaces are convenient when working on different projects or separating personal and work-related tasks. However, if you find it distracting or unnecessary, you can easily disable it.

How to Disable Spaces on Mac

Disabling Spaces can be done in a few simple steps:

  • Open System Preferences: Click on the Apple menu in the top-left corner of your screen and select “System Preferences.”
  • Mission Control: In the System Preferences window, find and click on “Mission Control.”
  • Uncheck “Displays have separate Spaces”: Here, you’ll see an option that says “Displays have separate Spaces.” Uncheck this box.
  • Log Out and Log In: To apply the changes, you may need to log out of your account and log back in or restart your computer.

After following these steps, you will have effectively disabled Spaces on your macOS. However, remember that this method is reversible, and you can enable Spaces again by simply checking the “Displays have separate Spaces” option in Mission Control.

Alternative Desktop Management Solutions

Now that you’ve turned off Spaces, you might wonder how to manage your desktops efficiently. Fortunately, there are alternative solutions available to help you customize your desktop experience:

1. Use Multiple Desktops

While disabling Spaces removes the virtual desktop feature, you can still use multiple desktops. MacOS allows you to create additional desktops without the Spaces functionality. To do this, swipe up on your trackpad with three or four fingers (depending on your settings) to access Mission Control. Then, click the “Add Desktop” button in the top-right corner. This way, you can manually organize your applications and windows across separate desktops.

2. Third-party Virtual Desktop Managers

You can explore third-party virtual desktop manager apps if you want more control over your virtual desktops. These apps often provide advanced features and customization options, allowing you to tailor your desktop experience to your needs. Some popular options include “Mission Control Plus” and “Total Spaces.”

3. Full-Screen Mode

Consider using full-screen mode for applications that support it. This maximizes the application window to fill your entire screen, effectively isolating it from other applications. This method can mimic the experience of using separate desktops while keeping things simple.

4. Organize with Desktop Stacks

MacOS includes a Desktop Stacks feature that can help you keep your desktop organized. It automatically groups files of the same type into stacks, reducing clutter. While not a direct replacement for Spaces, it can make managing a single desktop more manageable.

5. Spaces Alternatives

If you disabled Spaces because you found it visually distracting, explore alternative window management tools like Magnet or BetterSnapTool. These apps allow you to snap windows to specific areas of your screen, making it easier to manage multiple open applications.

6. Spectacle

Spectacle is a free and open-source app that enables easy window resizing and positioning using keyboard shortcuts. It doesn’t create virtual desktops but helps you manage windows effectively.

7. Divvy

Divvy is a powerful window management application designed to help macOS users organize and optimize their desktop workspace. Whether you’re a professional, a creative, or anyone looking to improve productivity, Divvy offers a straightforward and customizable solution to streamline window placement and arrangement on your Mac.


Customizing your macOS experience to suit your preferences is one of the advantages of using Apple’s operating system. While Spaces can be a valuable tool for managing virtual desktops, it’s not the only way to keep your work organized. By disabling Spaces and exploring alternative solutions, you can create a desktop environment that enhances productivity and helps you work more efficiently.

Whether you use multiple desktops, third-party virtual desktop managers, or other methods, macOS provides the flexibility to adapt to your needs. So, customize your desktop experience to make your Mac work best for you.

Author Bio

Ashley Brown is a seasoned content writer in the tech industry, specializing in creating engaging and informative content for TechanZone. With a keen understanding of technology trends, Ashley delivers insightful descriptions that captivate and inform tech supporters.

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