I make heavy use of workspaces, and tend to have a lot of workspaces, most of which only have one window. I pretty much always have two different workspaces that have a window of Google Chrome open.

Ever since I updated from Yosemite to High Sierra, I've had this weird issue where, when I switch to one of the Chrome workspaces, it'll instantly jump to the other Chrome workspace (even though there's like 4 other workspaces between them).

I can't seem to figure out the precise set of conditions that causes this; it's random as far as I can tell (although, infuriatingly, once it does happen, it'll probably happen again immediately after when I try to correct). It can happen whether I'm switching workspaces via keyboard shortcut or trackpad gesture, but I don't think I've ever seen it happen if I open Mission Control to switch workspaces. I've only seen it happen with Chrome, but then, Chrome is the only application that I ever have open in multiple workspaces.

I've tried toggling the "When switching to an application, switch to a Space with open windows for the application." option in System Preferences->Mission Control, but it happens whether this is turned on or off.

Does anyone know what might be causing this and how I might fix it?

  • 1
    The root cause is having any app on more than one Space, which is a 'no fix' situation... I'd test & see if the actual 'bouncing' happens with Safari, or if it's Chrome-specific .
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 8:48
  • 2
    It happens to me with applications other than Chromium. It happens with keyboard shortcuts, "Mission Control" switching, fullscreen applications, non-fullscreen applications, between different windows of the same application, and between different applications. Super annoying. It started after upgrading to High Sierra.
    – Steve
    Commented Nov 17, 2017 at 23:17
  • 2
    +1 This happens to me too. On the switch from Sierra to High Sierra. Very annoying.
    – ifermon
    Commented Nov 21, 2017 at 12:22
  • 4
    macOS 10.13.2 seems to have fixed this issue for me. Anyone else seeing that? Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 5:11
  • 3
    I think I finally figured out what the issue is... when you apply the "When switching to an application, switch to a Space with open windows for the application." option in the mission control settings... it only applies to NEW SPACES. You have to delete all of the old ones and redrag your windows to new ones. Hopefully it continues to work after that. Also this only seems to be an issue for chrome. all of my other apps were already respecting the option
    – Will
    Commented Dec 18, 2018 at 6:12

3 Answers 3


The only work-around I've found for this is to move the window that keeps stealing focus to another workspace. If I move it back to the previous workspace it will exhibit the same behaviour, so I need to delete that workspace and create it again, and then move the window back to it.

Upgrading to 10.13.2 didn't fix it for me.

Update: Upgraded to 10.13.3 and the issue is still there.

  • still no working solution, absolutely horrible decision made by Apple. The only way to prevent the app from creating its own isolated workspace is to not use it in full-screen. It sucks that Apple doesn't just allow the apps to utilize the already-existing desktop spaces to reduce the headache. I just want five desktops and work within only those spaces for my workspace.
    – briancrink
    Commented Jun 19, 2018 at 23:11

Via @stickj in the comments way above, this seems to have worked for me:

By way of Apple forum: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4995042

Do this in terminal:

defaults write com.apple.dock workspaces-auto-swoosh -bool NO 

followed by

killall Dock

The latter restarts the Dock to apply the prefs change. Alternatively, reboot (though why when you can restart the service :)).

There is a caveat:

Thank you for this. But now the problem is that when you click on an icon in the Dock it won't take you to that app and when you have a lot of things open across different desktops it sometimes is hard to find the app you're looking for.

One person suggests:

There's a easier solution (if I'm reading the OP's post correctly). -- Go to System Preferences/Mission Control and uncheck the box that says "When swithching applications, switch to another space with open windows for that application."

But this option actually seems to override that selection. (Toggling that selection does not change this option, this option does not exist until you've written to it).

  • 2
    This broke switching between app windows altogether. Commented Feb 21, 2019 at 4:29
  • Worked for me, thanks! If you wan to focus the app's space when switching, just tap on in the doc one more time.
    – Ben
    Commented Sep 16, 2019 at 18:46

UPD.: Nope, Apple's support is traditionally second to useless. Sent as feedback. Let's hope it helps…

Finally I've reported that to support. Not sure whether it means they would fix it, but hopefully they should.

  • It is very unlikely that Apple Support would do anything to help with this issue. You would likely need to file a radar to even hope for it to be fixed.
    – Oion Akif
    Commented Jun 24, 2019 at 20:37

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