I've a problem with full-screen mode in Lion.

Let's say I opened iTunes and set it to full-screen mode. I start a video in iTunes and when I exit from the video it turns back to iTunes as it should but the iTunes window is in another desktop even though in the header I see iTunes as the active application.

In order to see the iTunes window I've to click to the iTunes icon in the Dock or use the application switcher.

BUT this problem doesn't appear when I don't use iTunes in full-screen mode.

In my opinion it's an issue with me upgrading to Lion from Snow Leopard. I'm thinking of a fresh install but even though it's easy to do it will take some time so I would really appreciate your suggestions on the matter.

1 Answer 1


I've had similar problems with other applications running in full screen mode. This is not a problem with your install per say, it's a bug/feature/the way things are. Don't do anything drastic like reinstall the OS because you won't solve the problem.

When this happens I generally move back to the full screen app using Quicksilver. You can do the same thing using the built-in spotlight search ⌘ + spacebar or through Mission Control.

  • It's not a bug, it's indeed a feature/the way things are: Full-Screen Mode in Lion is implemented by sending an app to its own Space when it's set to full-screen.
    – Dan J
    Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 19:12
  • It may not be a bug in terms of implementation but it arguably one from user experience. Being dumped into an (often completely empty) desktop with no active windows for the App in question -- iTunes, Mail, etc. -- seems to me a poor user experience. The user wants to be returned to the App's full screen, where they see their library, email messages, etc.
    – jaberg
    Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 19:18
  • If you have a Magic Trackpad (and possibly the Magic Mouse also), you can swipe left / right with three fingers to move between spaces and full screen apps - which can be quicker than accessing Mission Control. It's definitely a UX bug though...
    – Mike Insch
    Commented Jan 27, 2012 at 15:40

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