At the moment I'm using two displays for my MacBook. The larger screen is the one I primarily use because of its available space. The smaller one (MacBook) is used to glance on if I ever need to check something. In the case that I watch a class on the secondary while working on the primary and something important comes up, I would like to switch the applications displayed on both screens with one keystroke (so if I have TextEdit and Safari open on the big screen, and YouTube on the small, I want to move TextEdit/Safari to the small and YouTube to the big screen with a single keystroke).

Hopefully someone has an idea to accomplish this.

  • What do you mean by switching screens? Changing keyboard focus or exchanging the screen content (applications displayed) between the large screen and the internal screen?
    – nohillside
    Commented Nov 23, 2015 at 14:01
  • Exchanging the screen content (applications displayed) between the large screen and the internal screen. Thanks for taking the time to help!
    – Zinessio
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 9:14

1 Answer 1


You can set a shortcut to move among your screens. In fact, the monitor you add is just considered as another Desktop space. So you can perform the following steps:

  1. Open System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts tab;
  2. On the left menu, select Mission Control;
  3. There will appear some options. First of all, check that the Mission Control function is enabled. There will be consequently shown some other sub-options, such as "Switch to Desktop X", corresponding a certain shorcut. The default one is ctrl+X, where X is the number of Desktop to switch to. You can customize this shortcut as you prefer.

Then, you can just perform the shortcut corresponding in switching to the Desktop space you want and it's done.

If you don't know/remember the 'identification X' of your screen, just show your Mission Control (in my case pressing F9) and check for the Desktop number.

  • Thanks for taking the time to help mgiordi! The thing is I tried this option but it doesn't seem to work if I want to switch desktops on a screen. I can identify the screens, but switching did not work. Not with the default shortcut and not with a selfmade shortcut.
    – Zinessio
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 9:35
  • Try following this other post: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/116557/…
    – mgiordi
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 12:41

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