I like certain apps to have their own dedicated spaces, and I'm wondering how I can make it so those apps are automatically arranged in a specific order in Mission Control upon being opened. For example, here's an arrangement I have on my laptop screen:

Laptop screen

Spotify on the left far left, and Mailbox on the far right.

I've used a tiling window managers on Arch Linux called i3, and this automated arranging was very easy to do. I don't expect the same level of customization on OS X, but if there was some way to retain my arrangement without having to manually move these spaces around every time, that would be fantastic.

  • 3
    As far as I'm aware, you can't. Every-time you go full screen with an app, it'll go in a separate space to the far right. But you can arrange if them if you don't go full screen. (I'm speaking from Yosemite, haven't tried El Capitan)
    – user14492
    Sep 19, 2015 at 21:35

1 Answer 1


The whole thing is much easier to manage if you don't use the system full-screen, which will always set a full-screen app to the right of any existing Spaces & they cannot then be accessed by the standard Ctrl ⌃ num method

If you don't full-screen, then you can quickly lock any app to a Space by right-clicking in the Dock.

Also, make sure you don't have it set to rearrange Spaces automatically in System Prefs > Mission Control.

See my answer at https://apple.stackexchange.com/a/179403/85275 for some more working methods.

  • Thanks for the answer. I wish there were a better alternative, since I just love full-screen apps. Just to clarify, if I assign an app to a specific Desktop, say, "Desktop 2" and then later I close Desktop 2, it won't create a new Desktop to open up this app in, correct? I tested this with Spotify by creating a new space and assigning Spotify to it. The behavior works as expected, but when I close Desktop 2, and reopen Spotify, it doesn't open up Desktop 2 and instead opens in Desktop 1. Sep 20, 2015 at 20:06
  • tbh, I never mess with my Spaces once they're set up [except to add more], but presumably if you change your Spaces structure you will upset anything assigned to that Space.
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 20, 2015 at 20:12

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