Stop Spaces from Rearranging Themselves in Mac OS X
New versions of Mac OS X have an interesting and sometimes unusual change to Mission Control’s behavior, where desktops/spaces will automatically rearrange themselves based on how recently they’ve been used or accessed.
If you’ve set your spaces (virtual desktops) to be in a specific order, this is fairly annoying, but it’s also easy to stop those spaces from rearranging themselves.
How to Stop Spaces Rearranging in Mac OS X
This setting exists in all modern versions of MacOS and Mac OS X:
- Launch “System Preferences” from the Apple menu, and click on Mission Control
- Uncheck the box next to “Automatically rearrange spaces based on most recent use”
- Close out System Preferences
With the automatic rearrangement disabled, Mission Control will again remember your app and desktops placement and not reorder them on it’s own. This keeps the desktop Spaces consistent with your settings and preferences, rather than having them change.
Some Mac users may like having the Spaces automatically rearrange based on recent use, particularly if they use predominantly full screen apps. Others may prefer to have the Spaces maintain their preferences, so that they have a consistent experience when they open Mission Control to look at their Spaces and virtual desktops. This is just a matter of personal preference, and like all settings it can be changed and reversed at anytime if you need to do so.
If you like this tip, there are many others like so check out some more Mission Control tips.
For some brief history, this setting first appeared in the Mac OS X 10.7.2 update but has stuck around in modern versions of Mac OS X too, well into the modern era of macOS. Whether you like it or not is kind of a matter of personal preference, sometimes it’s very useful, but sometimes it can lead to confusion.