How are fullscreen apps organised? This is usually my workflow:

Dashboard / Desktop / Safari / Pages

I sometimes go to Pages and type some things and go back to Safari, and then I find that it becomes like this:

Dashboard / Desktop / Pages / Safari

It has shifted location for some reason.



4 Answers 4


Screenshot of Mission Control.prefpane

Uncheck it if you must :). Then it will retain 'as launched/created' order.

  • 14
    Man, this has been bothering me for years, and I only googled it on a whim today. I'd like a Preference to turn off anything with "useful" or "automatic" in its title.
    – idoimaging
    Commented Oct 21, 2019 at 0:07
  • FYI, as of 2024 this setting is in "Desktop & Dock" under "Mission Control" at the bottom.
    – Sam Sabin
    Commented Jan 23 at 5:22

Mission Control automatically rearranges your spaces according to how recently you accessed them. Desktop 1 is always Desktop 1 though. You can turn this behaviour off by going to System Preferences -> Mission Control and unchecking the Automatically rearrange spaces based on the most recent use option. This will keep your additional desktops and full screen apps in the order you start them or place them via the Mission Control view.

Mission Control Preferences Panel


Here is there current place up to date macOS version.

MacOS Ventura 13.4.1


Since the 10.7.2 update, all Desktops can be reordered, but Desktop 1 and Dashboard. It seems that the overall order is based in usage, the most used is moved to the left side.

If what you want is to keep an specific order, try what ghoppe suggested here:

  1. Turn ON automatic-ordering (System Preferences > Mission Control > Automatically Rearrange Spaces)
  2. Command-Tab through applications on each space until you get the order you want (they will automatically reorder themselves.)
  3. Turn OFF automatic-ordering.

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