I can't overstate the significance of "instantly"! I'm trialling a working process that makes very heavy use of spaces. Heavy enough that any delay when switching spaces is making it essentially unworkable.

I made a change — turned "Reduce Motion" on — which I think sped things up, but nowhere near enough. I need the delay to be as little as it is when, for example, switching windows within the same app+space i.e. instant.

To demonstrate the issue, open a few applications across a couple of spaces, then try to cmd-tab between a) apps on different spaces b) apps on the same space. Note that, even with "reduce motion" enabled, switching is much faster within a space.

Is there any setting I can change, or third-party app, that will totally eliminate the delay? Failing that, can anyone familiar with macos programming weigh in on whether this is even possible or not, or whether its something imposed by the OS which there is no chance of changing at all (without hacking the os binary!)

I'm running a MacBook Pro Retina Mid-2014, macOS 10.13.3, with 10 workspaces configured.

My preference would be for the animation to be totally eliminated for every switch-spacing mechanism. However, my main method is going to be using Ctrl+[1-0] to switch between 10 workspaces.

  • 2
    How are you currently changing Spaces? Ctrl/num is already significantly quicker than ctrl/arrow or touchpad swipe. The move, btw, is very probably to mask the window redraw. Trying to redraw it all at once would probably look really bad, so freezing the screen as it curtains likely covers that redraw time needed.
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 5, 2018 at 10:58
  • I've tried Ctrl+num as well as Ctrl+arrow. The first, however, is still unacceptably slow. However, your comment has reminded me that I suspected background images might be slowing things down; I'm just going to change every space to a plain solid background and see if that helps.
    – Bobby Jack
    Mar 5, 2018 at 11:08
  • 1
    Reading your question I can't overstate the significance of "thoroughness" (and "gemütlichkeit"): no system version, no number of spaces (more than 20?) - if you have to work faster than the GPU can draw windows/spaces your setup/workflow is flawed. ;-)
    – klanomath
    Mar 5, 2018 at 11:10
  • @klanomath I've added some detail. I don't want to abandon this workflow quite yet because, given that different app windows can switch quickly enough, I'm hoping that there's some way they can be made to switch quickly enough between spaces.
    – Bobby Jack
    Mar 5, 2018 at 11:14
  • 1
    This question is not a duplicate (at least, not of apple.stackexchange.com/questions/17929/…) because disabling the animation does not imply changing it instantly. The built-in option to disable the animation simply replaces it with a simple fade "animation." The speed at which spaces switch is different from, albeit related to, the visual presentation.
    – 2rs2ts
    May 10 at 21:32

1 Answer 1


I recommend the option System Preferences > Accessibility > Display > Reduce motion.

This causes the transition to become a simple fade, which is also much quicker than the screen pan especially when using ctrl+1, 2 etc shortcuts.

I also use this option on iOS for similar reasons. enter image description here

There's also TotalSpaces2 which apparently allows complete removal of the transition. I've not used it myself though.

  • 17
    Thanks, but I've already enabled this (as detailed in the question) and it's still a very long delay when you're switching frequently.
    – Bobby Jack
    Mar 5, 2018 at 21:10
  • 1
    @BobbyJack have you tried TotalSpaces2? It apparently allows complete removal of the transition. I've not used it myself. Mar 5, 2018 at 21:14
  • 3
    TotalSpaces2 does not work with macOS 10.15 or newer.
    – schemar
    Aug 25, 2020 at 12:18
  • 1
    @schemar TotalSpaces2 works fine with macOS 10.15 (I have no idea the main page for the application doesn't state this) and can remove the transition delay and any effects completely. There is still the limitation that SIP must be partially disabled (so that it can inject code into the Dock), but that's a minor inconvenience. See discuss.binaryage.com/t/…
    – mjturner
    Oct 27, 2020 at 12:33
  • 2
    @MattSephton Reduce motion isn't perfect but does help a great deal, thanks. I really wish Mac/Apple could let us customize more in general. Any idea if there's a TotalSpaces equivalent for Apple Silicon? Oct 15, 2021 at 3:21

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