Using the Control + Left and Control + Right keyboard shortcuts only works on the monitor where the mouse pointer is located.

If I Command + Tab to an app on a different monitor and try switching spaces, it won't work on the display of the app that I switched to.

Also, try switching spaces on a display then moving the mouse pointer to your other monitor without clicking or selecting anything. Now when you use the keyboard shortcuts to switch, it will switch spaces on the other monitor, even though your focus is not there.

Is there a way to switch spaces only on the monitor that has focus? I'm on the latest Mojave, by the way.

  • Did you ever find a solution to this? Seems like a big accessibility issue if you have to move the cursor around to be able to switch spaces.
    – N Jones
    Commented Sep 19, 2022 at 18:31

1 Answer 1


Disclaimer: For me on MAC OS Mojave 10.14.6 on macbook pro 2018, using Control + Left/Right, switching spaces by default works on the monitor that has focus. When I move the mouse pointer from screen1 to screen 2 even without clicking on any app on screen 2, i'm able to switch workspace on the screen where mouse pointer is located using Control + Left/Right keys.

But, if by anyhow it's not working for you. You can set shortcut for screen switch across screens using System Preferences - > Keyboard -> Short Cuts and select checkbox for "Switch to Desktop 1","Switch to Desktop 2", "Switch to Desktop 3". Then using control + 1/2/3 you can switch to one of the desktop. The limitation is you can only create shortcut for 3 default desktops.

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  • After switching to a different desktop than the original how do you switch the space of that desktop/monitor? For me it switches the desktop but ^ LEFT ^ RIGHT still apply to the desktop/monitor with the mouse on it.
    – rudolph9
    Commented Jul 6, 2020 at 17:50
  • @rudolph9 for me, by default using ^ LEFT ^ RIGHT i can switch between desktops which is there on currently active monitor(means where ever the mouse pointer is there). You can try adding custom key to switch desktops across monitor as i have shown in my answer.
    – Satish
    Commented Jul 7, 2020 at 14:12

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