Okay, weird and sort of unnecessary question, but I'd love some help if you're able.

In Mountain Lion, you could swipe up with three fingers into Mission Control and then swipe back down to exit without lifting your fingers. Now in Yosemite (and I think Mavericks) you have to lift your fingers before you can do the exit gesture. Is there any way to fix this? I'd imagine there's some terminal code I can run to change this setting.

Basically, I want to be able to enter into Mission Control, see what's open, and then leave again all in one continuous gesture like you could in Mountain Lion.

2 Answers 2


There is an app called Better Touch Tool. You can download it at their homepage.

First, you hide preview if there is any, and then select Trackpad on the top screen. Before you start adding gestures, make sure to allow it to control computer in System Preferences > Accessibility

enter image description here

As you can see, I already set up the swipe up and down gestures. Below, you can select which gesture will it be (in this case, 3 finger swipe up and down). And under Predefined Action, you can search Mission control.

  • Nice. One of my annoyances with Apple has always been how they're design concepts are centered around the "way you should do it" rather than on the "way you want to do it." That kept me in PC land for a long time... well that and the Mac versions of MS Office products $v@%. But you can't beat the reliability, so I became an App-borg. ;-)
    – AMR
    Jul 21, 2015 at 13:45
  • @AMR I know what you mean. On the iOS however, you can set your own gestures for anything. There is an option somewhere in Settings > General > Accessibility. On the OS X, you are stuck with presets or third party gestures.
    – John K
    Jul 21, 2015 at 13:48
  • That's interesting. I might end up using this for other gestures too. Does it have to constantly run in the background or is this a set and quit kind of thing? I'd rather not have something that uses more resources that necessary.
    – Zach
    Jul 21, 2015 at 14:05
  • It runs in the background as a Daemon and takes up only 33 MB RAM. You can disable it, but by default, it keeps running
    – John K
    Jul 21, 2015 at 14:08
  • 1
    haha you just introduced me to the world of custom gestures. This is awesome. Thanks!
    – Zach
    Jul 21, 2015 at 14:35

Well, this is a bit of a kludge, but if you make your gesture a little bit bigger, and swipe just above the boundary of the trackpad, with all three fingers, then you swipe back down, you get the effect that you want. Swiping past, in effect resets the state on the trackpad, without you feeling like you have lifted.

My guess is that the "functionality" that you describe was actually viewed as a bug by Apple. The track pad can be a bit fidgety as it is, so they probably added the reset so that when you swiped up, it would stay in the view you intended with that gesture. They also probably made the gestures a little more precise, so that you did keep ending up on the widgets screen accidentally.

Okay, here is a second option, from us old folks who grew up in the days where Keyboard shortcuts were cool... <control>-<UpArrow> gives you the same function as the three fingered swipe. You can basically do what you want with two taps of the up key while holding the control key with a lot more control (sorry for the pun) than with the magic hand wavy move.

  • 1
    Or you can go with TheBro21's option.
    – AMR
    Jul 21, 2015 at 13:40

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .