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I've noticed I'm using a few Finder and other app instances per project. Sometimes I need to easily swap between "workspaces" and I've only recently started to use Mission Control and multiple Desktops which I'm getting the hang off.

However, I noticed I use some workspaces more than others. I'd like to somehow save a list of Finder and other apps with their locations on screen to save resources, then restore the same layout at a later date when it's needed.

Is this something that can already be done using El Capitan (preferably with built-in tools) ?

If so, how ?

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To assign a space to an application, you:

  1. Activate the space where you want the application to live...
  2. Right click the application icon in the dock
    • Choose: Options > Assign to: This Desktop

This will make it so that the application always opens to that space.

Applications typically remember their window location, so as far as that goes, it should in most cases be just set it and forget it type of situation.


If you want multiple layouts, you might want to try out Moom. Not the only app that does that, but I'd say it's the best one I know. You can use it to save snapshots of application locations that can be restored via menu or shortcuts.

Should be noted that Moom doesn't control the application space, just the size and location.

  • Also make sure to switch off 'Automatically rearrange Spaces based on recent use' if you want to remember which is which by number. – Tetsujin Apr 15 '17 at 5:51
  • Thank you for the detailed answer (+1) I am assigning applications to each Desktop as you advised. Is there any way to save and close one of these Desktops, then restore all the apps/windows that were assigned to it at a later stage (even after a reboot) ? If so, how ? – George Profenza Apr 15 '17 at 9:27
  • @GeorgeProfenza I don't think you can do exactly what you want. First of all, closing spaces won't be possible or necessary. You could maybe make an automator app or service that opens bunch of apps and then triggers a shortcut for a specific Moom layout after a delay. This is far from an elegant solution, but perhaps close enough... – Joonas Apr 15 '17 at 10:06
  • Thanks for the info. I guess that's as good as it gets. I'll give Automator a shot – George Profenza Apr 15 '17 at 10:14

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