I have this weird issue where if I switch between two apps with a trackpad they do not gain focus and I have to click the app to start working in it.

Note that, by "switching between apps", I mean switching between 2 "desktop spaces" in Mission Control, one desktop space having just 1 app open at a time.

This is super annoying as it is way more convenient to, for example, be able to just press CommandT to open a new tab in Chrome instead of having to click the app and then press CommandT. This issue is reoccurring, I've had times when it went away and then came back again.

Or am I just imagining stuff? It may just be that I never noticed this, but I would definitely remember being annoyed by something.

  • Yes it happens sometimes.. I just click in the dock to get focus. Or use cmd + tab in the first place.
    – anki
    Commented Aug 31, 2020 at 10:49
  • I have the same issue, has anyone solved it yet.
    – Re9iNee
    Commented Jan 16, 2022 at 10:30
  • @Re9iNee sadly it solved itself so I still have no answer for this; but the good news is that it hasnt appeared eversince
    – ddruganov
    Commented Jan 17, 2022 at 9:39
  • I have the exact same issue on Monterey. Sometimes it's working, other times it's not. It's very annoying...
    – E-Kami
    Commented Aug 29, 2022 at 23:26
  • Try this workaround: apple.stackexchange.com/a/455387/217473
    – cambecc
    Commented Jun 25, 2023 at 6:27

3 Answers 3


I somehow found a solution.

so previously I'd restart my Mac and that would solve this problem. but I didn't want to restart it.

The Solution I came up with is to use Log Out instead of restarting. This is way faster than Restart and its not annoying.

  • 1
    There is a better way which is to "sleep" your computer instead of "log out" Commented Sep 27, 2022 at 2:50
  • putting my computer to sleep couldn't solve the problem since it saves the current session and nothing gets 'load' again.
    – Re9iNee
    Commented Sep 30, 2022 at 13:06
  • Did you push your power key to get into sleep? Have you check the "sleep" item in menu of top left corner? Commented Oct 1, 2022 at 13:08
  • yes I did, logging out will solve this problem.
    – Re9iNee
    Commented Oct 2, 2022 at 9:11

For me, the app on "Desktop 2" always gain focus when switching to "Desktop 1".
I somehow fixed it by creating "Desktop 3" and removing "Desktop 1"...
Not sure if it is fixed permanently though.

  • This technique worked for me on two separate machines. Was plagued by this issue for months. Delete all spaces/desktops and re-create them. As expected, Chrome windows (and other apps?) now receive focus when switching desktops. Finally! Thanks for finding the workaround.
    – cambecc
    Commented Jun 25, 2023 at 6:27

I finally find the reason for me which is the app BTT caused the issue. I uninstalled it and reinstalled, then I haven't meet that yet.

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