OSX 10.8. Pretty simple. Right now when I open a file through Finder, if the filetype is set to be open by application Y, oftentimes OSX finds a space that has an open window of Y, and sends the file into that window in that space. What I want though is, when I open the file, I want a new window for that file, and in the same space.

Per this question, I know that there is a workaround explicitly for Chrome, which is great; ditto this for Finder. But I want this setting to be system-wide. E.g. I want to open a new txt document through finder and have MacVim open a new window with the file in my current space (as it would if it were launching for the first time) rather than locating an open window in a separate space and pulling the file into a tab in that window.

Note, I do have my settings set so that switching to an application does not switch to a space with an open window for that application, which works correctly, but when the application launch takes place through a file opening rather than via the cmd-tab switcher, it still does the find-an-open-window-even-if-in-another-space thing.

Note again, there are two issues here--

  1. I don't like that it switches spaces
  2. I don't like that it opens the file in an existing window rather than in a new window

--and I don't see how you can solve one without solving the other; but it'd be great if either or both could be solved.

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    What kind of applications are you using? Apple's document based applications open a new window when you double click a document in finder, they never reuse the window of an already open document. Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 10:28
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    This is a pretty natural request. Most users want to open a new window exactly where they are already working. If one is looking at a given organised space this usually is not an error but where one wants to work right now.
    – dan
    Commented Aug 17, 2013 at 8:27
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    @rsanchezsaez In fairness not Apple-authored apps, e.g. Chrome, MacVim, etc. But I've observed a similarly frustrating behavior with the Finder, in which certain ways of instigating the opening of a folder that I have open in another space takes me to the displayed folder in the other space, rather than opening a new Finder window in the current space to display the folder. (I can't right now remember exactly what causes that to happen, but I'll post if/when I do remember. It happened just yesterday and prompted me to offer the bounty but I neglected to note the details of the event.)
    – Philip
    Commented Aug 17, 2013 at 11:20
  • @Philip Thanks for the clarification. I do not readily know of any way of achieving what you need. A good venue for exploration could be third party OS X windows managers like Divvy or similar. Maybe one of them offers this particular feature? Commented Aug 17, 2013 at 14:21
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    This is really a nightmare if you work on different applications grouped on space by Story your are working on, grooming on, create a POC and so on, can't understand why they don't fix it!!!
    – Antimo
    Commented Jan 23, 2020 at 14:00

4 Answers 4


Does setting the assign to Desktop:none; work for you.

You can do this from the Applications Dock menu.

enter image description here

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    Unfortunately no. All the aforementioned applications are already assigned as such.
    – Philip
    Commented Jun 28, 2013 at 17:48

To open a new window of an app in the current Space without triggering Spaces switch, right-click on the app in Dock - "New Window".

This approach works for most apps, however it won't work for some apps (triggering annoying Spaces switch). Here is the last resort:

In short, it opens a new window of app without (triggering) switching Spaces. How:

in the Space that you're working on and wish to have a new window of some app that already has other windows open in other Spaces, open Terminal.app (if necessary, set Terminal.app Keep in Dock and right-click on Terminal.app - "New Window") , run open -n /Applications/Appname.app

eg. open -n /Applications/Vivaldi.app A new window of the app will open in the current Space, as there wil be no annoying Spaces switch, your workflow in the current Space is not interrupted.

Reference: Assign Application Windows to Different Spaces/Desktops


Disable the option under System Prefs -> Mission Control -> When switch to an application, switch to a space with open windows for this application

for some application this will not work, because some apps like TextMate open new documents in a new tab, but I’m pretty sure these apps have own options to prevent this!

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    Question explicitly states that that option is already set.
    – Philip
    Commented Aug 21, 2013 at 18:52

I think I finally got a fix, for Microsoft Word (and presumably other Office apps too): Make sure you have a Word window open in all workspaces... of course, you can make the window really, really tiny and pushed away into a corner.

This also helps with the jump to another workspace with an open window when you close "the last" (actually useful) window on a workspace. This is on Mavericks.

A fully minimised (docked) window doesn't seem to do the job, though.

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