I upgrade some time ago but need spaces for the first time today.

At the moment I can use Ctrl+ to get to the widgets pane, but I find I can't use either Ctrl+ or Ctrl+[number] to get to another space (let alone create a new one).

I've checked my shortcuts and even under there I've only got the option for Switch to desktop 1.

Where am I going wrong?

3 Answers 3


Do you actually have other spaces created? Ctrl+ and Ctrl+ will work if you have spaces. To make a new space bring up Mission Control and hover the mouse in the top right, a + button will appear.

  • Interestingly I can't even bring up mission control. Pinching with five fingers and clicking on mission control just fades back out to the previous application. Nov 27, 2013 at 8:44

To display mission control, the trackpad shortcut is a four fingers swipe up (or three fingers according to the system preferences you set for your trackpad).

You can also hit the F3 key (without pressing 'fn' key) to display mission control.

Then, you should see all your windows. If you bring your mouse curser in the upper right coin of your screen, you should see a small rectangle with + sign: clicking on it will create a space.

If you want to go from a space to another, you can use ctrl+left/right, but you can also use your trackpad with four fingers swipe left/right (or three fingers).

You can configure the way Mission Control is brought to front in your System Preferences > Mission Control or Trackpad sections.

If all of this does not work, then you may have another problem.

  • Thanks for the comment. Unfortunately none of these options to bring up mission control works.... I can swipe using four fingers to weather, time, etc.... but swiping right only moves the screen a bit. Not to a new screen though. Nov 27, 2013 at 9:33
  • Did you install Mavericks from scratch or did you update from your old system ? If you did update, I recommend you to re-install after formatting your disk (this may fix some bugs and issues). A TimeMachine backup should allow you to be able to restore seamlessly your configurations and apps after re-intall. Another tip: open a bug at bugreport.apple.com: they may answer you and give you a useful advice.
    – lauhub
    Dec 2, 2013 at 13:10

Spaces is gone, so you will need to open the mission control app and get situated to the changes.

If you can't go into Mission Control, you can't create new screens since there is no longer a pre-defined grid of empty spaces waiting to be used as before. Not being able to get into Mission Control seems to be the root of your problem.

Once you can enter the program, you can make additional desktops on demand and only then switch between them.

Alternately, you might test this further by taking an app full screen, as this should essentially create a new space for it. Now try to switch between them using any other methods on this page. If it won't go full screen, you have a problem. If it will, but it won't switch, then this is an additional (or perhaps another symptom of the same) problem.

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