If I invoke Exposé and use the gesture to swipe between fullscreen apps, open windows from other applications will show (similar to +). However, I cannot click on them to bring them to the front, so it is practically useless.

I noticed this behavior since Sierra and wonder if this is intended behavior or just a bug.

Bonus question (Since I don't have access to macOS 10.11 or lower): Has this behavior existed before?

  • I'm extremely confused about this question, but I feel like I shouldn't be. I've tried invoking Mission Control both when a fullscreen app is foreground and when I'm on a normal Desktop space — in both cases the Desktop space windows are shown and clicking on a window brings it to frontmost as it should. I've no idea what you're unable to click on!
    – grg
    Oct 21, 2016 at 20:24
  • @grgarside I'm talking about Exposé (three/four finger swipe down) not Mission control (it works there)
    – Qbyte
    Oct 21, 2016 at 20:39
  • Oops sorry I meant Exposé in my comment, that's what I was trying.
    – grg
    Oct 21, 2016 at 20:40
  • @grgarside I'm using a three finger swipe down to invoke Exposé and then a three finger swipe left/right (normally swipe between spaces). When I do this windows from other apps appear in an Exposé like arrangement but I cannot click on them. Hopefully this clarifies my question/situation.
    – Qbyte
    Oct 22, 2016 at 20:39

3 Answers 3


My interpretation of the question's scenario is:

  1. Enter App Exposé with a four-fingered downward swipe, then
  2. Swipe left or right with three fingers to show the open windows from each of the other open apps (this works whether or not any windows are full-screened at the time). The windows on screen will not show the blue border highlight typical of Exposé on mouseover, and clicking on one of them will (in most cases) exit Exposé without changing focus to the clicked window.

If you reproduce this state and then perform a downward three- or four-fingered swipe, the windows will "bob" a little and the blue border highlight will reappear; clicking on the highlighted window will bring it to focus and exit Exposé, which I suppose is the expected behavior. (I believe this is what an earlier answer was alluding to.) The arrow keys will also cause the blue highlight to reappear and allow a window to be selected.

My personal opinion is that the initial lack of response to mouseovers is a bug and not intended, but I have no evidence either way. Hopefully these workarounds help, though.

  • After restarting (haven't restarted in a while...) it just works as expected (as you have described in your answer). So if you also have this bug, a restart might help.
    – Qbyte
    Jan 7, 2017 at 23:22

i think i know what you're talking about. expose used to have this really annoying "feature" where it required a mouse move before it would register a click. so if i used expose and the window i wanted was right under my mouse cursor, i couldn't just click it. i had to move my mouse a little, then i could click it

but, i just tried reproducing this in macos sierra and the problem is gone!

  • Thank you for your answer. However I was not talking about a useless mouse swipe. It is a useless three finger swipe after invoking Exposé (see also my comments to my own question).
    – Qbyte
    Dec 4, 2016 at 14:47
  • yes, i'm also using a trackpad. i called it a mouse because of the cursor. i'm also following the steps in your comment. after switching to a different app, if i click on that window, it doesn't come to the front. however, if i move the cursor a little, that window will then get a blue border and it will come to the front if i click it. it's been this way for as long as i remember
    – user111904
    Dec 5, 2016 at 1:49

When your are in the exposé view you can do a four finger swipe down, then you get a soft of visual bump effect and afterword you can select the window of a other open program. This is necessary to click on it. Maybe this was made switch faster to your former window, but it doesn't´t feel natural.

  • Please keep in mind that this is a Q&A site, not a discussion forum. So any answer you post should be self-contained and understandable on its own.
    – nohillside
    Oct 23, 2016 at 7:58
  • I'm sorry I don't understand your answer. Especially this part: "Maybe this was made [...] it doesn't feel natural". Could you reformulate your answer please?
    – Qbyte
    Oct 23, 2016 at 9:19

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