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I am a new macbook user. I have switched from windows pc recently. Currently I own a macbook pro 15.4 2018 edition. I am using it along with my 32 inch monitor.

A silly problem i have facing is that whenever I am using an application in desktop1 that is on the macbook itself but if i click another application on desktop2 (external monitor) the application on my macbook pro(desktop1) loses its focus. (vice versa).

So when i want to go back to that application (in desktop1) clicking something inside that application, first click is just wasted to get the focus for that application. Thats different from windows experience. Is there any workaround to keep focus on both the desktop?

  • Did you make either application fullscreen? Don't is my suggestion as macOS doesn't cope so well with fullscreen compared to Windows. – lx07 Jun 28 at 19:17
  • no i am not using fullscreen. – Sadi Mahmud Jun 28 at 19:56
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In short, no.

You cannot ever have two applications in focus at the same time, on any OS - key commands wouldn't know which app to operate on.

The Windows paradigm of the first click actually being read as an instruction is just one that Apple have never used.
In recent years, there are some actions you can do on first click - closing a window by clicking the red dot, or you can scroll whichever window your cursor is over, without ever needing to activate it, for instance, but mainly the paradigm is & always has been that the first click activates, the next click operates.

It is one of those things you just have to get used to - for people used to Macs, the Windows paradigm is equally frustrating.

  • +1 Good point. Some WM (i3 for example) will give focus without any clicking required but you are right - something needs to have focus. – lx07 Jun 28 at 19:22
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    Rather irritatingly for those of us who have been Mac-Centric for 30 years or so is that some apps, like Messages, will respond to the first click. It means you have to start dodging around like you have to with Windows, so you don't accidentally operate on something when all you wanted was to bring it forward. Bad consistency from Apple in recent years on that front. – Tetsujin Jun 28 at 19:24
  • yeah, keyboard commands work only on the last clicked desktop in other os like ubuntu or windows. so i guess i have to just get used to it in mac os. – Sadi Mahmud Jun 28 at 19:57

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