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How to Split Screen on Mac: Get More Done in Less Time!

Last Updated on August 25, 2022

how to split screen on mac

Do you work on a Mac and feel like you’re constantly switching between windows?

You’re not alone! A lot of people feel that way. But there’s a solution! This article will demonstrate to you how to split screen on Mac, so you can easily view two apps or windows at the exact same time.

That means no more tabbing through different windows or losing your place.

Split Screen for Mac is the perfect tool for anyone who wants to be more productive. With it, you can easily keep an eye on two different tasks simultaneously without jumping back and forth between windows.

It’s an essential tool for any busy professional, business owner, or side hustler.

How to Enter Split Screen View on Mac

Entering split screen view on a mac is easy and can come in handy when you want to work on two different projects side by side. Here’s how to do it.

  1. To get started, simply hover over the green button in the top left corner of any window. You can also click and hold the full-screen button to achieve the same thing.

    how to split screen on mac
  2. Choose between “Tile Window to Left of Screen” or “Tile Window to Right of Screen”.


  3. Click on the window you want to use to the side of the current screen. This will then split the screen up into two windows.

    how to split screen on mac
  4. Once you have selected your split view, you can adjust the size of each side of the screen by moving the slider left or right in the middle half of the screen.

    Mac Split View Mode
  5. Something to note is that the menu bar icons disappear at the top of the screen when you are in split view mode. This is because the screen expands to a full-screen mode.

    Don’t panic! I’ll show you how to get the icons back down below.

How to Exit Split Screen Mode

After you’ve finished with the split screen view and you want to go back to the original screen layout, here is how to do it:

  1. Move your cursor to the top of the screen. This will show the Apple menu bar.
  2. This time, click on the green button (you can do this from any window). This will exit the split view.
  3. The screen that now disappears hasn’t closed. It is just in full-screen mode. Swipe up on your trackpad using three or four fingers to view the other window.

Alternatively, you can use the mission control feature from the keyboard or touch bar.


Mac Split Screen Alternatives

When working on a Mac, there are a few different ways to split your screen. The most popular method is to use Mission Control, which allows you to create separate spaces for other apps.

However, if you’re looking for something more substantial, alternatives like Magnet and Mosaic offer a range of features that can help you get more out of your split-screen setup.

Magnet, for example, includes options for resizing and positioning windows with just a few clicks. At the same time, the Mosaic app provides a customizable grid that makes it easy to arrange your windows exactly how you want them.

So if you’re looking for ways to boost your productivity, check out some of the Mac split-screen alternatives.


Split Screen FAQ

Below are some of the most common questions when it comes to using a split screen on Mac.

What is the Keyboard Shortcut For Split Screen on Mac?

If you’re still old school enough to have a Macbook Pro with the infamous touch bar, then you’ll need to press and hold the fn key. This will bring up the function keys. If you have the default settings, then you’ll see the mission control key (see the below picture).

macbook touch bar mission control

Alternatively, you can swipe up on the trackpad with three or four fingers (depending on your configuration). This will show all windows available for split screen view.

switch opposite side windows

From there, you can now choose your new split view. Simply drag the multiple windows to the top of the screen and merge the open windows together.

drag another window to right side to make two windows

However, if you have a properly functioning Macbook keyboard, simultaneously hold control (⌃) + command (⌘) + F to enter the full screen. Now hit F3 to pull up mission control and follow the steps above to display the split view.

If that is still too much for you, you can create your own keyboard shortcut. Mine is Control (⌃) + Up Arrow (▴) to get straight to mission control. To do this, use the following steps:

1. Apple Menu  (upper left side of the screen)

apple mac logo

2. System Preferences

apple macos catalina system preferences

3. Mission Control, and then choose your shortcuts under the keyboard and mouse prompt.

use mission control to enter split screen shortcut

Can You Have 2 Screens on a Mac?

This is a little different from splitting one screen into two. But yes, you can have two screens on a Mac. Connecting a Macbook to an iPad with the thunderbolt or thunderbolt 2 ports is also possible. You can then control your cursor using the trackpad over both devices.

Why Can’t I do Split Screen on Mac?

If you’re having trouble getting the split screen to work, here are some troubleshooting steps to try:

1. Go to the Apple Menu ()
2. System Preferences
3. Mission Control, and ensure that “Displays have separate spaces” is enabled.

If it is enabled, make sure your Mac is up to date. Split screen mode has been available since 2015 with macOS El Capitan. This includes macOS Catalina or later.

Finally, the app that you want to split view may just not be a compatible feature. Unfortunately, not all apps use split screen view on Mac. You could always try an alternative app to force split screen mode.

How do I Separate My Screens on a Mac Without Using Full Screen?

When using the split screen function, it will automatically increase the screen size to full.

But if you want to separate your screens, then this will need to be manually done using the good old-fashioned click and drag on the windows you wish to operate together to fill the screen.

Unless you want to make it a permanent setting, then complete the following steps:

1. Apple Menu ()
2. System Preferences
3. Dock and Menu Bar

Down the bottom of the window, you’ll find the option to “automatically hide and show the menu bar in full screen“. Make sure that this is deselected.


Bottom Line

Splitting the screen on your Mac might be the answer if you’re looking for a way to increase your productivity. Having multiple windows and applications open simultaneously allows you to work more efficiently and get more done.

With just a few clicks, you can set your split screen up the way that works best for you. So give it a try and see how much of a difference it makes in your workday. I think it is one of those underutilized apps that can make a big difference.

Do you have any tips or tricks for using split screens on a Mac? Share them in the comments below.

It’s time to be the pilot of your life, not just the passenger.


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