Sometimes I connect my MacBook to my TV to watch a movie. I don't use screen mirroring, but have the TV arranged above the Display of the MacBook. Dragging a window with the touchpad to the TV screen is easy enough, but I don't like the user experience. Is there a way to manage my windows with key combinations? Thus, is there a key combination to move a window from one screen to another?

If I could arrange windows between screens with Mission Control that would also be great; but as far as I can tell Mission Control is limited to the current screen. Thus, I found no way of moving a window from one screen to another using Mission Control.

Also I would like the Dock to always stay on my MacBook Display. Usually it does, but often enough it vanishes only to appear on my TV screen. Is there a way to control this on macOS Mojave 10.14.6?

  • Look into window managers like yabai Nov 1 '20 at 13:46
  • Let’s make this one question and focus on Mojave.
    – bmike
    Nov 1 '20 at 14:11

The dock will stay on the primary display if you disable 'Displays have separate Spaces' in Mission Control prefs. This will also enable all the settings below to work seamlessly, rather than fighting with what Spaces you have frontmost on each display.

If you use VLC for playback - which I'd highly recommend as being a) free, b) really easy to use but c) with lots of really complex options if you really need them - you can set it to open in its own fullscreen method, which ignores the macOS native fullscreen, which otherwise will automatically black out the other screen. You can also dictate which display to open the playlist & the playback video on.
This means you can use the laptop screen for your playlist & the TV for the movie.

There's a lot you can do if you juggle these options. It's worth a few minutes messing with them to see what suits you. [You usually need to re-launch it for these to kick in.]

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Set as above will hide the playlist as you start playback. Disabling the first option will allow you to keep them separate if you want. Disabling native fullscreen stops the OS from blacking one display [unless you specifically enable it on the right] & making a new Space [both of which I find infuriating… yet another reason I never use Apple's fullscreen.]

If you're using this setup for movie playback, I think this will remove any need to be dragging windows from screen to screen at all.
Set & forget.

The only downside I've ever found with VLC is that it forgets your current playlist if you quit/relaunch/reboot. It will remember current playback position inside any one file, once you reload your playlist, but not which was playing. It's not like most Mac apps in that respect. For everything else, it pretty much 'just works'.


I like to keep it simple and avoid third party window managers. They exist and do precisely whatever you want, easily set up to be controlled by key shortcuts, but in this case I close the lid and watch the movie in closed clamshell mode, zoom the window to full screen.

The mission control key shortcuts can also yet you set up a second display on the TV so you can have one layout for the normal windows and switch to a second layout for movie time. No extra tools needed.

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