What is Mission Control on MacOS? Is it quite useful?

macOS has a lot of powerful tools built-in to help users be more productive throughout the day, and one of the most effective of these is Mission Control on Mac. Mission Control allows users to see any currently open applications and makes it easy to swap between virtual desktops.

If you only use two applications at the same time, you can switch between them easily by pressing CTRL + Tab; but if you’re working with six or more at once, it’s much easier to pick the right apps through Mission Control. You can also easily find open applications and close them to improve performance.

This guide will walk you through exactly how to use Mission Control on Mac and get the most out of one of the best features of macOS.

How to Enable Mission Control on Mac

You can open Mission Control in one of several ways. The first (and simplest) method is to swipe up with three or four fingers on your trackpad or Magic trackpad. This will open Mission Control and allow easy viewing of any windows you currently have open.

You can also double-tap the surface of the Magic Mouse with two fingers to open Mission Control. If you’re using an iMac with official Apple accessories, this is the easiest way.

Mission Control swipe and mouse options

If you don’t have a Magic Mouse, you can launch Mission Control by clicking the icon in your Dock or by pressing the relevant hotkey. You can set a key on your keyboard to open Mission Control, but F3 is the default key to open the program.

If none of these methods work for your workflow, there’s good news: you can customize how you open Mission Control (as well as some other features in macOS) from within. System installation.

Mission Control Settings Window
  • First, open System installation and then click Mission Control Icon. It’s usually found in the top row between the Dock icon and the Siri icon.
  • When you open Mission Control settings, you’ll see a section with four checkboxes. Here is a section titled Keyboard and Mouse Shortcuts. This is where you can set custom keyboard shortcuts to open Mission Control.
  • If you click the drop-down box next to Mission Control, you can select any of the F keys, as well as Right and Left Shift, Control, Option, and Command as your keyboard shortcuts.
  • If you want even more options, press Shift, Control, Option, or Command to bring up potential keyboard macros you can set.
Keyboard and Mouse Shortcuts in Settings
  • If you click the “Hot Corners” button in the lower left corner, you can set up different commands that fire when you move the pointer to the four corners of the screen.

    Each corner can have a different command from the list including launch Mission Control, Application Windows, return to Desktop, show Notification Center, put screen to sleep, lock screen, etc.

Use virtual desktops

Another great benefit to Mission Control on Mac is that you can easily swap between different desktops in macOS. Taking advantage of multiple desktops makes it easy to organize different parts of your computer for different tasks.

If you open Mission Control, there will be a + icon in the upper right of the screen. Click here to create a new monitor (or Space.) You can create up to 16 of these screens on a single machine, although very few users will need more than two or three.

+ menu to add virtual screen

After opening several screens, you can switch between them by using three fingers to swipe right or left. You can also hold down the CTRL key and click the right or left arrow. Once inside the desktop, you can open any application you want; however, you can also drag open apps from one screen to another from within Mission Control.

Is Mission Control on Mac really useful?

There are many productivity apps on the market. Many of these so-called “best-functions” are rarely used, which leads to skepticism towards tools like Mission Control. If you’re the average user who uses their device to browse social media and send a few emails, you probably won’t find a lot of use in Mission Control.

On the other hand, proficient users will see significant benefits from Mission Control. For example, in the process of writing this tutorial, the author opened the photo editing, word processing, file manager, and browser windows and used Mission Control to switch between them seamlessly.

How often do you use Mission Control on Mac? How does it affect your daily productivity in macOS? Let us know in the comments below.

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