I use two monitors on this Macbook Pro running Mavericks. I never use more than one "desktop", however once every few days, I see a random number of new desktops created - usually between 2-3 but sometimes there are as many as 7-10.

The desktops do not remove themselves so some days I end up having more than 12 spare desktops.

There is no wallpaper or icons on my desktop.

What causes the new desktops to be created spontaneously?

  • Before we can evaluate the issue tell us what are the settings in your desktop preferences?
    – Ruskes
    Apr 11, 2014 at 8:58
  • Solid color, translucent menu bar, no screen saver.
    – Howard
    Apr 11, 2014 at 10:34

1 Answer 1


I have the same issue and I'm looking for a solution. However, I think I know the cause...

When you unplug a monitor the OS creates a new Desktop for the lost screen and moves all the windows onto your laptop screen. When you plug back in it thinks you want that extra Desktop so it doesn't re-use it for the monitor, then when you unplug again it creates a new one. For people who rarely use the Desktops / Spaces feature (or mission control) these extra desktops can build up and you only notice them on the rare occasions you go into mission control. I sometimes find 20 or more Desktops there.

I'm not sure if this is exactly correct, or how to solve it, but I think this is what causes multiple Desktops to keep appearing.

  • 2021 and this feature prevails. Agree this is connected with multiple monitors that many macbook owners will use. Dec 22, 2021 at 8:51

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