How to split screen on Mac: Your guide to multitasking

How to split screen on Mac

Apple introduced Split View with macOS Catalina, allowing you to look at two apps simultaneously. So if you’re someone who works on several apps at once but gets frustrated while switching between them, this guide is for you! Learn how to use split screen on Macbook Pro/Air or iMac to multitask smoothly.

Note: You can split-screen on all Macs running OS X El Capitan or later.

How to do split screen on Mac

macOS Catalina or later

  1. Open an app on your Mac.
    You will see the red, yellow, and green buttons at the top left.
  2. Click and hold or simply position the mouse/trackpad pointer over the green button, and you will see some options.

    split-screen-menu
  3. Click ‘Tile Window to Left of Screen‘ or ‘Tile Window to Right of Screen‘ to shift the window to the screen’s left or right.

    split-screen-2
  4. Now, select another app from the available options.

    split-screen-3And it’s done!

macOS Mojave or earlier

If your Mac runs macOS Mojave, High Sierra, Sierra, or El Capitan, follow the steps mentioned below to use the Split View on your Mac.

  1. Open two apps or windows on your Mac.
  2. Place the pointer on the green full-screen button at the top left and hold it.
    The window will shrink.
  3. Keep holding and drag it to the screen’s right or left.
  4. Release the button and choose the window on the other side to view them simultaneously.

Using Mac Mission Control

  1. Open any app window in full-screen view on your Mac.
  2. Next, launch Mission Control using any of the following methods:
    • Press the F3 key on your keyboard to access or tap three rectangles on the touch bar to access the touch bar.
    • Press Control and the up arrow simultaneously.
    • Swipe up with three or four fingers on the trackpad.
    • Double-tap with two fingers on Magic Mouse.
      You will see two thumbnails at the top.

      Double-tap with two fingers on Magic Mouse
  3. Drag another app window to the full-screen view thumbnail.
  4. It will automatically enter the Split View mode.

    Enter the Split View mode
  5. Next, click the Split View thumbnail to open the split-screen.

Note: 

  • Not all apps support split-screen on Mac.
  • Some apps will always take half or more screen space in Split View. They may not allow you to decrease their window size to less than 50%.
  • You can even open two windows of the same app. For example, two Chrome windows or two Notes app windows.
  • If you cannot enter split view, click the Apple LogoSystem PreferencesMission Control → Check the box for ‘Displays have separate Spaces.’

Still can’t access Split View on Mac? Check our explainer on tips to fix Split View not working.

How to access other apps in Split View on Mac

You can open other apps using Mission Control on Mac. Here’s how.

  1. Launch Mission Control by following any of the methods mentioned above.
  2. Now, click the thumbnail at the top to switch between Split View and other windows.

How to adjust Split Screen View on Mac

You can move the windows around and change their size based on your preference. Here’s how:

  • To resize windows: Click the border between the two windows. If you want to change to its original size, double-tap the border.

    Resize two windows
  • Display the menu bar: Move your cursor to the window’s top to use the window’s menu bar in the split-screen view.
  • Swap window positions: Click anywhere on the app’s menu bar and hold and drag the window to the screen’s left or right.

    Swap window positions on Mac
  • View the dock: Move your cursor to the window’s bottom to view the dock while using split view.

    View the dock while using split view

How to exit Split Screen View on Mac

There are two ways of exiting Split View:

  1. Method 1: Simply place the mouse pointer or click the green circle button, and select:
    • Replace Tiled Window: To switch one app window with another.
    • Move Window to Desktop: To exit Split View mode and move the app to the original Desktop.
    • Make Window Full Screen: To exit Split View but access the window in the full-screen view.

      Exit Split Screen View on Mac
  2. Method 2: Launch Mission Control and drag and drop the Split View screen to the Desktop.

Pro tip: Open more than two windows in Split View on Mac

You would have noticed that macOS allows you to use two apps side by side in the split-screen view. However, you can use third-party applications such as Magnet to access more windows simultaneously.

I hope you’re able to use Split View on Mac and multitask smoothly. If you’ve got any other issues or queries related to Split View on Mac, drop them in the comments below.

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