If I assign an application to all desktops like this:

Assign to all desktops

It loses focus after moving to another desktop and moving back.

Step to reproduce:

  1. Assign an app to All Desktops (let's say iTerm).
  2. Switch to another App on the same Desktop. Let's say Numbers.
  3. Switch back to iTerm. Work on it.
  4. Move to another desktop.
  5. Move back to the original desktop where you was lastly working on iTerm, expecting to work again on iTerm.
  6. When the desktop appears on the screen, the iTerm app seems to have the focus, but after <1 second the previously used app on that desktop (in this case Numbers) get the focus.

This is very annoying. Any idea how to fix this? I'm not sure if is a bug in OSX, I"m using high sierra.

  • I feel sure there used to be a pref, before we had 'mission control' just 'Spaces', but no longer. The last used app on any given Space will be brought to the front when switching to that Space. That never includes 'all spaces' apps. tbh, I'd just lock it to a single Space as a workaround. [In High Sierra, even that is flaky with Finder :(
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 1, 2018 at 18:36

1 Answer 1


I found that this happens when you have the applications assigned to "All Desktops," or even a particular desktop. When I assigned all of my apps to "None," the focus issue went away. I'm not sure how the setting got turned on, but switching all apps to "None" solved my focus issue.

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