1

I have dual monitor set-ups at both my work office and my home office, but when I move between them, the "Spaces" sets flip between the two external monitors. (This has consistently happened despite changing cable arrangements, and even when setting up a new pair of monitors at my office.)

Is there a way to get "Spaces" sets to remain on their relative displays?

     Work Office             Home Office               
     -----------             -----------
┌─────────┬─────────┐   ┌─────────┬─────────┐
│  Left   │  Right  │   │  Left   │  Right  │
│ Display │ Display │   │ Display │ Display │
│ ------- │ ------- │   │ ------- │ ------- │
│ Spaces  │ Spaces  │   │ Spaces  │ Spaces  │
│ *set A* │ *set B* │   │ *set B* │ *set A* │ <-- unwanted flip-flop
├─────────┴─────────┤   ├─────────┴─────────┤
│  MacBook Display  │   │  MacBook Display  │
│   Spaces set C    │   │   Spaces set C    │
└───────────────────┘   └───────────────────┘
6
  • Did you try swapping the physical monitors on one pair? I had to do that for similar if not identical reasons.
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 10 '19 at 16:13
  • @Tetsujin - I have to admit, that I've intentionally put that option off. Since I've run into this repeatedly, I'd rather not have to rearrange cables every time it comes up again.
    – MetaSean
    Sep 10 '19 at 16:17
  • fwiw: I swapped the monitor cables at my work office and all seemed well, but when I got back to my home office, the external displays flipped again (e.g. the spaces set that had been on the left display on Tuesday is now on the right display, despite being the exact same configuration as Tuesday!)
    – MetaSean
    Sep 12 '19 at 15:56
  • I'd still try physically swapping one pair of monitors, leaving it cabled as the Mac decided it wanted. If it seems to have a 'preference' then why fight it. I had to do the same when I got the pair I have now, before it would settle.
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 12 '19 at 16:08
  • @Tetsujin - That's what I did at my work office yesterday. Are you suggesting that _everytime_ I connect I physically swap my cables from the day before?
    – MetaSean
    Sep 12 '19 at 16:48
0

For anyone trying to figure this out, the fix turns out to be really simple, but you do need to pay attention when disconnecting and reconnecting the monitors.

Basically, whatever order you disconnect the monitors, then you need to reconnect them in the opposite order, making sure to give the Mac time to register each monitor, e.g.

                     Work Office
                     -----------
                ┌─────────┬─────────┐
                │  Left   │  Right  │
                │ Display │ Display │
                │ ------- │ ------- │
 Disconnect  -->│ Spaces  │ Spaces  │  <-- Disconnect
   SECOND       │ *set A* │ *set B* │        FIRST
                ├─────────┴─────────┤        & then
                │  MacBook Display  │   take a 1-2 second
                │   Spaces set C    │        pause
                └───────────────────┘

                     Home Office
                     -----------
                ┌─────────┬─────────┐
                │  Left   │  Right  │
                │ Display │ Display │
                │ ------- │ ------- │
  Reconnect --> │ Spaces  │ Spaces  │  <-- Reconnect 
    FIRST       │ *set A* │ *set B* │       SECOND
    & then      ├─────────┴─────────┤
   wait for     │  MacBook Display  │
 anything to    │   Spaces set C    │
 be displayed   └───────────────────┘

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .