I would expect 'Mission Control' to allow me to drag spaces in a certain order (with the exception of the 'Dashboard' space), but this does not seem like an option.

This would be especially useful when re-ordering full-screen apps: for example, opening iCal and then opening Mail fullscreen would result in Mail being 'spaced' after iCal. But what if I'd want Mail to have a higher 'priority', thus wanting it spaced before iCal?

Is there an option to re-order spaces without recreating them entirely?

  • 3
    Developers reported that this features is coming in the 10.7.2 update.
    – olivier
    Aug 10, 2011 at 21:02
  • @Olivier do you have a reference for that? Aug 11, 2011 at 2:30
  • 1
    Well, I read it on MacGeneration, a French Apple-related website but I just figured out while searching for an english source that this is the only place to mention it (or one of the very few). I'm sorry about that. I still think it's going to make it to 10.7.2, but I don't have many proof and it seems strange nobody is talking about it (iCloud is the favorite subject when it comes to 10.7.2).
    – olivier
    Aug 11, 2011 at 4:22
  • HOWTO Arrange Desktop 1: I found out that the top menu placement in "System Preferences" -> "Displays" (upl.io/tor71u) also assigns the first set of spaces (Desktop 1+). So you can always assume the display with the "top menu" placement in system preferences to have Desktop 1+.
    – dza
    Jan 22, 2014 at 9:34

5 Answers 5


OS X 10.7.2 Update

Since OS X 10.7.2 Desktops (or Spaces) and full screen apps can be reordered, i.e. spaces can be mixed with full screen apps in any order a user may fancy, but with one exception - Dashboard and Desktop 1 (1st Space) cannot be moved.

Pre OS X 1.7.2 answer:
Based on several reviews and reports you cannot.

Seems like an oversight to me as I consider it as a must-have feature.

Be aware there's also something called automatic-ordering (System Preferences > Mission Control > Automatically rearrange Spaces), which apparently orders them based on usage.

  • 4
    That's correct, you can't "drag" them anymore. Weird, and I believe it will be added in a future update, because if automatic arrange is off… I should be able to play with them. Jul 21, 2011 at 11:17
  • Any ideas on how automatic ordering work?
    – biozinc
    Aug 17, 2011 at 19:39
  • I believe they are ordered by usage - the most used is moved to the left side.
    – Michal M
    Aug 18, 2011 at 6:23
  • And by any order, you mean "except Dashboard and Desktop." It seems like those stay stationary.
    – Dante
    Oct 13, 2011 at 9:36
  • You're absolutely right. I'll update the answer. Cheers.
    – Michal M
    Oct 13, 2011 at 10:52

it seems you've accepted an answer, but here's a workaround:

  1. Turn ON automatic-ordering (System Preferences > Mission Control > Automatically rearrange Spaces)

  2. Command-Tab through applications on each space until you get the order you want (they will automatically reorder themselves.)

  3. Turn OFF automatic-ordering.


I can confirm that this option is in the developer release of the 10.7.2 I was actually surprised that this wasn't available in the public release of Lion. Oddly enough I just noticed it today when playing around with a friends MacBook Air... I was trying to show him how to use it and I couldn't for the life of me figure out why in the world I wasn't able to grab the spaces and reorder them. What an annoyance.


The use of cmd-tab to order the spaces (as suggested above) seems for me at least to work for some apps but not others. Another approach is this.

Turn the automatic reorder off in Prefs; then note (as above) that the desktops go to the left and the full-screen apps to the right. Then go through the apps one-by-one, for each one turning off full-screen and then back on again. When off'ed, the app will (temporarily) move to Desktop 1; but when re-on'ed, it will get its own space back again --- at the end of the line.


System Preferences -> Mission Control --> Uncheck Automatically rearrange Spaces

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