At times, having multiple windows open simultaneously becomes necessary, especially when working from home on a laptop like myself. However, constantly toggling between multiple full-screen windows can be quite inefficient. Instead, it is more convenient to utilize the split-screen feature, enabling the display of two windows side by side. This functionality proves to be beneficial when analyzing data for a report, keeping chat windows visible while performing other tasks, or even watching a video on one side of the screen while multitasking.
Thankfully, Macs offer a split-screen mode, allowing users to position two applications or separate browser windows on different sides of the screen. This feature enables effortless switching between windows without the need to navigate with a mouse or rely on the Command + Tab keyboard shortcut.
How to Activate Split View Mode on a Mac
- Ensure that neither of the windows you wish to use is in full-screen mode.
- Hover your cursor over the green button located in the top-left corner of one of the desired windows. Instead of immediately clicking to maximize the window, keep hovering until a drop-down menu appears.
- From the drop-down menu, select either “Tile Window to Left of Screen” or “Tile Window to Right of Screen.” This action will automatically activate the split-screen mode on your Mac.
- As a result, other open windows will be displayed on the opposite side of the screen. Click on the window you want to occupy the remaining space on your screen, and it will fill the corresponding half.
- If you need to adjust the size of the windows, you can use the slider located in the center of the screen.
By entering Split View mode, you’ll be able to conveniently view and work with both windows simultaneously. Enjoy multitasking efficiently!
How to Exit Split Screen Mode on Macs
If you’ve finished working in split screen mode and wish to return to a regular display, follow these steps:
- Move your cursor to the top of the screen until the window’s sizing buttons appear at the top left.
- Click the red button to close the current window or click the green button to exit split screen mode.
- Don’t worry! Your other window is still open, but it’s now hidden in full-screen mode. To access it again, press the Mission Control button (F3) on the top row of your keyboard.
- At the top of the screen, you’ll see two options: “Desktop” and the window you had in split screen mode. Click on the other window, and if you want to exit full-screen mode, use the green sizing button located at the top left.
If you’re someone who often needs more than two windows open simultaneously, you can manually resize windows to fit three or four on your screen. However, keep in mind that this approach won’t provide the same visually organized experience as using tiled windows.
Keyboard Shortcut for Split Screen on Macs
Mac users have a convenient keyboard shortcut for enabling split screen mode. By pressing Control + Command + F, you can enter full-screen mode. Then, use F3 to open Mission Control and simply drag another application onto the app that is currently in full screen. Clicking on the newly tiled apps will activate Split View.
If you find this process too lengthy, you have the option to create your own customized keyboard shortcut. To do this, go to System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > App Shortcuts. By clicking the “+” button, you can add a command named “Tile Window to Left of Screen” or “Tile Window to Right of Screen” and assign your desired shortcut. Once the shortcut is set up, activating it will automatically tile the active window to the left or right side of the screen, enabling split screen mode.
Troubleshooting Split Screen Issues on Macs
If you’re experiencing difficulties with split screen mode on your Mac, try the following steps:
- Check that you’re not currently in fullscreen mode. Split screen mode can only be activated from the normal windowed view.
- Navigate to System Preferences > Mission Control and verify if the option “Displays have separate Spaces” is enabled. If it’s disabled, enable it.
- If you don’t find the “Displays have separate Spaces” option in the Mission Control menu, ensure that your macOS is updated to version 10.11 or later. You can check your current OS version by clicking on the Apple icon in the top-left menu and selecting “About This Mac.” If you’re using an earlier version, click the “Software Update” button on that screen to update your macOS.
- Keep in mind that not all applications support split screen mode. If you’ve tried the previous steps and the app still won’t tile in split screen mode, it’s likely that the app doesn’t offer this feature.
Splitting Screens on a Mac without Full Screen
The default split screen function on Macs, known as “Split View,” automatically arranges two windows in full-screen mode. However, if you prefer not to use full-screen view (for quick navigation between browser tabs, for example), you can manually resize and position your windows to achieve the desired arrangement. This approach allows for more customization than using Split View.