I'm learning how to use MacOS, so maybe I'm doing something in a wrong way.

Let's say I have 2 virtual desktops, each desktop is for some specific activity (work and private stuff). Each desktops has one word document. The problem - when I close word document on desktop 1, MacOS is shifting focus to another word document and bringing me to desktop #2. Is there any way I can prevent this? I don't want this, I want to stay at the same desktop I've been using.

  • 1
    Try System Preferences / Mission Control / "When switching to an application, switch to a Space with open windows for the application” -- turn this off. See support.apple.com/guide/mac-help/…
    – lhf
    Feb 28 at 11:19
  • @lhf That looks like an Answer.
    – shoover
    Feb 28 at 19:58
  • @lhf did not help unfortunately
    – lak-b
    Feb 29 at 15:33

1 Answer 1


That's intended behaviour, in a way. The two documents are running in the same instance of an app, so when you close one, the next window is brought to the front. Spaces was never designed to have one app spread over multiple Spaces.

  • Thanks for the reply! Now I'm even more confused - what is the intended way to use spaces/virtual desktops in MacOS? As someone coming from Windows, I assume each desktop is for some specific activity - coding, surfing, studying. These activities could involve same apps sometimes. How to deal with this?
    – lak-b
    Feb 28 at 11:33
  • 2
    Unfortunately, Spaces was a great idea that never got properly finished. When they added fullscreen [which broke Spaces still further] they just abandoned it. it hasn't been improved since. This has always been a failing, trying to deal with one app in multiple Spaces. You could try setting up key commands to go to specific Space numbers, so at least you can quickly flip back if it changes unexpectedly. See if superuser.com/a/1187552/347380 and apple.stackexchange.com/a/179403/85275 are at all helpful.
    – Tetsujin
    Feb 28 at 11:42
  • Oh, that's sad. Now I'm really puzzled how to use spaces :-|
    – lak-b
    Feb 29 at 15:35
  • 1
    @lak-b It appears that Apple is puzzled as well.
    – luckman212
    Mar 2 at 3:54

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