In Mac OS X El Capitan, is there a shortcut to move full screen apps between monitors?

Today I first bring the app out of full screen mode, then drag it to the second monitor and then maximize it again.

I wish there was a shortcut to just move it from monitor 1 to monitor 2.

edit: I'm not talking about moving between workspaces on a single monitor... I am talking about 2 monitors.


You can use Mission Control (formerly known as Exposé) to move full screen apps across monitors. Mission Control initially shows lists of workspaces across the top of all monitors, and when you move the mouse cursor up into that area they change into thumbnails. If you drag one of the thumbnails from one monitor to another, the workspace corresponding to that thumbnail moves to that monitor. A thumbnail for a primary desktop can be rearranged within its own monitor, but it can't be dragged to another monitor.

To clarify what I mean by primary desktop, each monitor initially has a workspace without full screen applications, and additional workspaces for full screen applications (which, in El Capitan, can contain one or two applications apiece). What I'm calling a primary desktop is that initial workspace. The + in the upper right corner of each monitor while Mission Control is active can create a new desktop, and a desktop created that way can be moved across monitors, but the desktop which was not created that way remains on its own monitor.

Keyboard shortcuts and trackpad gestures are available for Mission Control.

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  • To clarify, you say that desktops cannot be moved between monitors. Isn't each full-screen app given its own desktop, though? – tubedogg Sep 21 '16 at 15:48
  • By desktop I mean a workspace which does not consist of one or more full screen apps. – Eirik Fuller Sep 21 '16 at 15:54

In case you wanted to do so with your keyboard only, expanding @Fralec's answer:

I use spectacle as well, and the following sequence does the job:

  1. Cmd+Alt+F - Exit from full screen on current monitor

  2. Shift+Cmd+Alt+/ - Move to next screen

  3. Cmd+Alt+F - Enter full screen on the next monitor

Hope that does the trick for you :)

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You can use BetterTouchTool to configure a keyboard command triggering a two-step action, which first moves your application to the next monitor, and then makes it fullscreen.

To switch the fullscreen app back to the first screen, just press the keyboard command twice and it will move over.

enter image description here

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  • I was trying to get this set up, however, it seems that my "move window to next monitor" doesn't work. Tried "center window on next monitor" "maximize window on next monitor" but to no avail. Any ideas? – jan Oct 22 '17 at 5:01

I use a free app called spectacle to manage my windows. If you hold shift+alt+cmd+ right arrow or left arrow, your can easely move your window from one monitor to another.

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  • 4
    does not work in full screen mode. works when a window is not in full screen mode.. – Knows Not Much Sep 21 '16 at 14:29

Many Tricks Moom seems to have this functionality also. I just found out about that $10 app today (I've been using the mentioned Spectacle for the task, however, Moom also has a feature to re-arrange windows to chosen locations, etc.)

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