I use Mail.app in full screen mode quite frequently. However, I often like to open up and individual message for a task I'm working on and move it to a different Desktop. Opening up a message in full screen mode does nothing more than bring up a overlay showing the message but doesn't open another window that I can move elsewhere.

Is there a way to get individual messages in different windows to move to other Desktops when using Mail.app in full screen?

5 Answers 5


As mentioned here you can use a trackpad gesture to move a little to the other space (just enough to make the black inter-space bar visible) and then use a keyboard shortcut to open the current e-mail (Cmd-O) or create a new one (Cmd-N). You will get a normal new window which can then be dragged to any space you want.

  • very very nice hack
    – whaley
    Jan 16, 2012 at 16:23
  • Unfortunately it looks like it got fixed in 10.8. I switched to using Mail simply maximized on a separate space.
    – jpc
    Aug 13, 2012 at 21:24

When I need to open a message in other desktop I quit full screen mode, open the message(s) and then fullscreen again: just the main Mail window goes to fullscreen, leaving the messages windows open in the desktop where they were open.


I was using mail.app in full screen and hit the same problem. Can't figure out a solution and now am not using it in full screen. The way I am using now is create a new Desktop, assign the mail.app only running on this desktop, and make the mail.app main screen as large as the Desktop so that it looks like running as full screen mode.


In 10.10 I use the following series of actions attached to a keyboard shortcut using BetterTouchTool (although it should work for older versions on OS X):

  1. Send Ctrl+Cmd+F to Mail (tells Mail.app to exit fullscreen)
  2. Wait 3 seconds (waits for app to properly exit fullscreen - adjust to your system's speed)
  3. Send Cmd+O to Mail (opens selected message in new window)
  4. Send Cmd+` to Mail (switches back to main mail window)
  5. Send Ctrl+Cmd+F to mail (switches back to fullscreen)

By assigning a single keyboard shortcut to this, I can easily open the selected message in a new window and return the main mail app to fullscreen in one go.


I had the same issue. My workaround is to open a new viewer window in full screen, which allows me access to my other messages in the preview pane, and ability to copy attachments, text back and forth to the full screen window through swiping with my fingers. Works pretty well.

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