You may have encountered a situation in which Mac changes the order of desktops based on some events like alerts on a program or a web page in browser.

How could I disable this logical change?

Note: I'm using El Capitan, but I had this problem since Mavericks.


System Prefs > Mission Control
Uncheck Automatically rearrange Spaces based on most recent use.

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This will fix the order of all your regular Spaces - but not Fullscreen spaces, which always go to the right of existing numbered Spaces.

From comments: Note this cannot fix the Mac confusing which external screen is which. That's not user-controlled at all, & seems to occur mainly [though not always] when the external screens are identical.

  • 5
    Seems I've never looked for it precisely. It's the first options in the list. thank you. – Reyraa Nov 5 '15 at 7:17
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    I cannot imagine why anyone would want that to be the default. Thanks for the solution. – Nathan Beach Oct 12 '16 at 12:05
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    @NathanBeach it helps users that don't understand spaces, so it helps users who need it to be the default setting. :) – Florian Wendelborn Jun 25 '17 at 21:00
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    Wow. I had thought my computer was glitching for about a year now. – Seph Reed Dec 14 '18 at 18:26
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    thank you thank you thank you thank you. 5 years with mac and I never thought about finding a solution for this crap. – Rotem Dec 3 '19 at 9:23

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