I need a way to move a window between desktops in Lion/Mountain Lion with a keyboard shortcut only (i.e. no mouse involvement). From this similar question, I'm aware that it can be done by holding down the title bar of a window and activating the Move to Left/Right Space shortcut, but that doesn't meet my requirements.

I don't much care how it's achieved, as long as it's relatively efficient and can be activated by a keyboard shortcut (if it's just a script, that's fine, I can assign a keyboard shortcut to it another way).


3 Answers 3


Thanks to Lauri Ranta finding some further related questions that I didn't, I came across SizeUp, which does what I'm looking for (and several other window management tasks). I was hoping to find a more lightweight solution (I already have one window manager running full time in the background), but this will do for now. It's also unclear how well it works in Mountain Lion. I've only tested under 10.7 so far, but I saw some reports that it had issues in 10.8, but nothing definitive.

If anyone comes up with a different/more lightweight (i.e. an app that just does this, or a script), I'll mark that as the accepted answer, but for the moment it's SizeUp.


I use a helper app called Moom ($10 on the Mac App Store) to move and size windows. It can move windows between desktops too, as follows:

  • « your chosen key combo to activate Moom »
  • Left or Right Arrow fills left/right half of screen
  • Left or Right Arrow moves one screen left/right, still filling left/right half
  • (optionally) Space makes window fullscreen

Edit: in fact I've just noticed that ^ + arrow keys will move windows between screens. Even easier.

There may well be other apps that do the job more efficiently, but Moom offers quite a few neat features besides and I'm very happy with it.

  • 1
    I use Moom as well, and it is great. But unfortunately it doesn't have any commands I'm aware of for moving windows between different Desktops (previously known as Spaces). If I'm wrong on this, please clarify, as that would be perfect.
    – robmathers
    Nov 15, 2012 at 3:19
  • Ah, sorry! I read desktops as screens. The official Moom line is here: manytricks.com/support/… - it seems there's no API for that. I did find this app however, which seems to restore the original Spaces functionality and has hotkeys: totalspaces.binaryage.com HTH
    – maniacyak
    Nov 15, 2012 at 3:35

It doesn't work for all applications, not even all native Apple ones (which I find perplexing), but here's a possible solution.

  1. One-time mouse use: control/right click on the application icon of interest to bring up its contextual menu.
  2. Click Options, which brings up another contextual menu
  3. Under Assign To, you have four choices: All Desktops, This Desktop, Desktop X (where "X" is the number of desktops you've created), and None.

Here's a screenshot:

my son, smiting his bath toys

From there you choose what fits your needs. I assign certain applications (e.g., nvALT2, iTerm2) to All Desktops because I use them pretty much wherever I am working, and just hide them using command + H when they're not needed. Of course I might misunderstand what you are asking, and/or your use case might be different. If you're looking for a universal, only-as-needed solution then this won't be for you. Otherwise it's great: switching desktops using control + R/L arrows or option + desktop number pulls the window with you.

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