Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm new to Mac and have the following wish:

I would like to have one instance of an application (app1) on space1 and another application (app2) on space2. When I pres press CMD-Tab I see every open programs in every space. For example I'm in space1 and press CMD-Tab then I can switch between app1 and app2. But I would like to see only app1 when I'm in space1 and no app2 when I'm in space1.

Is there some setting where I can change this behavior?

Thanks for your help.


share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

I'm afraid you cannot do that, since the Dock (where this menu belongs) cannot be distinctly used on each space.

But, what it might be handy is to disable the option:

"When switching to an application, switch to a space with open windows for the application" from System Preferences > Expose & Spaces > Spaces.

That way, even if you select an application which is not present in the current space, you wont be moved to that space.

After all its just a matter to get used of it. After a while, even you'll be ok with it or you'll just deactivate spaces at all (the latter happened to me).

share|improve this answer
Good to know and sad that my wish option is not possible. – Matthias Guenther Jun 5 '11 at 6:14

Well, there's nothing built into the OS that will help you, but it is possible. Dock Spaces and Hyperspaces are two great products that extend Spaces and offer some of the function you desire.

share|improve this answer

You can assign an application to a particular space (sometimes called desktop). Go to some space -- perhaps an empty one. In the dock, right click on the icon for your app 1. You will see a pop-up which includes options. Select options, then "assign to this space".

Move to a different space with Mission Control. Repeat the process for app 2 (right click on the icon in dock, select options, assign to this space).

Move between the two apps by choosing the assigned space for whichever one you want to use. You will see one but not the other in the corresponding space space. You can configure how you move between spaces in system preferences.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.