I recently switched from Ubuntu to macOS, and I'm in the initial learning curve for adapting my workflow in Mac. In Ubuntu (and other Linux distributions) I can simply switch to any workspace (similar to mac mission control/multiple desktops) I want and I can open a new terminal instance in that workspace. In Ubuntu Unity, there is a nice way to see the terminal instances open in the current workspace only.

Is there a way for me to open terminal instances in specific desktops like 1 & 3 etc in macOS?

  • 1
    I'm not sure if I understand, but what happens when you switch to new Space -> right click on Terminal in Dock -> New Window ? Jan 24, 2017 at 18:25
  • @MateuszSzlosek Thanks!! that works!! I was moving to a specific desktop and clicking on the terminal which took me to the open instance. since then I was doing Cmd N and opening new instances in same desktop.
    – palerdot
    Jan 24, 2017 at 18:27

2 Answers 2


You can go to the new Space and right on the Terminal icon in Dock, then select New Window option there.

On macOS when you left click on an icon it activates the app and automatically switches to the Space where the app is opened.


First, go to System Preferences > Mission Control and make sure the first three options’ check boxes are unticked as in the attached image. If you’re using multiple displays, go ahead and check the box next to the 4th option (you may try keeping this option turned off, it really depends your personal work-flow).

See the options in the green highlighted area

Now make sure the app you want to assign a Space to is dragged and dropped into your Dock, in this case Terminal.app -you can remove it from your Dock when you've confirmed it has an assigned display or Space.

Lastly, right-click (or CTRL-click) on the Terminal app’s icon from your Dock and hover over “Options”. Under “Assign To”, select the display and/or Space that you want to assign it to.

  • The OP said "Is there a way for me to open terminal instances in specific desktops like 1 & 3 etc in macOS?" and what you propose will not work for 2 Desktops at the same time as that isn't an option! Mateusz Szlosek's answer has already been marked as the accepted answer as what was suggested answers the question. Jan 24, 2017 at 20:26

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