How to Access Mission Control on Mac

Mission Control is a handy macOS tool that lets you see all open applications and windows in one place. This has been on Macs for long (since Mac OS X Lion, 2011). Once you start using this convenient feature, you will start liking it. There are several ways to access Mission Control on a Mac.

How to Use Mission Control on Mac

Here are six different and easy ways to access and use Mission Control on Mac.

Method #1. By Using the Keyboard Button

By a single press of the Mission Control key, you can access it. This key has three rectangles of different shapes with the word F3 written at the bottom right.

Note: If you have turned on ‘Use F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys’ under System Preferences – Keyboard, then you will have to press the fn (Function) key and the Mission Control key to access it.

Method #2. By Swiping on the Trackpad

On your Mac’s external Apple trackpad or MacBook’s inbuilt trackpad, if you swipe up with four (or three) fingers, you will get access to Mission Control. You may change the number of fingers from three to four or four to three under System Preferences ⟶ Trackpad ⟶ More Gestures ⟶ Mission Control.

Swiping on Trackpad get access to Mission Control on Mac

Method #3. Using Keyboard Shortcut

Another way to access Mission Control is by pressing and holding together the Control + Arrow UP keys.

Method #4. Using Magic Mouse

When you Double-tap with two fingers on the surface of your connected Magic Mouse, you get access to Mission Control.

Use Magic Mouse to get access to Mission Control on Mac

Method #5. By Mission Control Icon in Launchpad

Apple has a separate icon for Mission Control in the Launchpad. If the Launchpad icon is not in your dock, you can access it by pinching with thumb and three (or four) fingers. Now click on the Mission Control icon.

Pinching with thumb and three fingers to access Mission Control Icon in LaunchpadNote: You can add the Mission Control icon to your dock for quick access. For this, keep your mouse pointer on the Mission Control icon and drag it to your dock.

Click to access Mission Control Icon in Launchpad

Method #6. Using Hot Corners

Hot Corners are incredibly useful and helpful. Any Mac I have to use for a day, if I find it disabled, I immediately turn it on. Setting Hot Corners is easy.

Step #1. Launch System Preferences on your Mac.

Launch System Preferences on your MacStep #2. Click on Desktop & Screen SaverScreen SaverHot Corners (option is in the bottom right)

Click on Desktop and Screen Saver in System Preferences on MacClick on Screen Saver under Desktop and Screen Saver on MacClick on Hot Corners under Screen Saver on Mac

You can also go directly by System PreferencesMission ControlHot Corners (option is in the bottom left)

Step #3. Here you have four dropdown menus which represent the four corners of your Mac’s screen. You can also see a small representational image in the middle highlighting the corners. Now you may use any of the four corners for accessing the Mission Control. To do this, click on one of the dropdown menu and then click on Mission Control. Now click, OK.

Click on Dropdown Menu and click on Mission Control on MacLaunch Mission Control from four corners of your Macs screenFrom now onwards, whenever you take your mouse pointer to that corner of the screen, Mission Control will be launched.

Tip: Similarly, you can set hot corners for the other three screen corners. I will tell you about my preferred settings. For the top left, I have ‘Application Windows’, for the top right ‘Mission Control’, for the bottom left I have ‘Desktop’ (I used to have Dashboard which I loved, but that has been removed in macOS Catalina) and finally for bottom right ‘Put Display to Sleep’. All these let me perform these actions quickly and effortlessly.

Using Hot Corners to access Mission Control on Mac

What is the Use of Mission Control on Mac?

Mission Control shows all your open windows in one place. Thus, it allows you to switch or move to the window of choice quickly. It lets you create Split View windows. You can also use Mission Control to move one of the windows to a different virtual desktop (Spaces). You can even use Mission Control to add new desktop screens (Spaces/workspaces).

Extra Read: Mission Control can be used to turn off full-screen mode for a window and return it to its original size. For this, launch Mission Control and take your mouse pointer to the top left corner of the small window thumbnail. An icon with two arrows facing each other will be formed. Click on it. Another method is to drag down the thumbnail of the full-screen app down into the open area.

What is the Use of Mission Control on Mac

How to Add a New Desktop Screen on Mac using Mission Control

Launch Mission Control using any of the six ways mentioned above. Now from the top-right, click on the plus icon.

Add New Desktop Screen on Mac using Mission Control

How to Move Window to Different Desktop on Mac

Step #1. Launch Mission Control using any of the six ways mentioned above.

Step #2. Now drag any window to the top right of your screen where you see a plus icon (or other desktops if you already have more than one desktop screens). After dragging and placing the Window on the plus icon, release your hold (i.e., leave your mouse button or remove fingers from the trackpad).

Launch Mission Control and Drag Window to top right screen on Mac You will see that the Window has been placed on a new desktop. Now you can go to this desktop by clicking on it. To navigate from one desktop screen to other:

#1. Swipe right/left with four fingers or launching Mission Control and click on the Desktop 2 (or whatever its number is).

#2. Swipe left or right using two fingers on the surface of your Magic Mouse.

#3. Use Control + Right Arrow or Control + Left Arrow.

How to Create Split View Windows using Mission Control

Step #1. Have an app in full screen mode (by clicking the green maximize button from top left)

Step #2. Launch Mission Control. Drag another window on to the thumbnail of full screen app. Now you will see both the windows in Split View.

Launch Mission Control on your MacDrag window on thumbnail to Create Split View on MacCreate Split View Windows using Mission ControlWrapping up…

So, this was all about the little, powerful tool called Mission Control. It is quick and easy to use. For me, this is very helpful. I have been using it since 2011. If you want, you may also change/tweak a few of its settings by going to System Preferences ⟶ Mission Control.

Click on Mission Control in System Preferences on MacNote: Mission Control does not show windows or apps that have been minimized.

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Suraj is a digital marketing expert on the iGB's team. He contributes to the social media section along with tips and tricks for iPhone, Apple Watch. Apart from blogging, he likes to work out as much as he can in his gym and love to listening to retro music.

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