How to Use Split Screen on Mac

One of the main reasons people choose to do business on the desktop is screen real estate. You can run multiple apps on Windows and Mac and switch between them much more easily than with a traditional tablet or mobile device. On top of that, both Windows and Mac have a useful split-screen mode built into them. If you don’t have an external monitor for multitasking, you can always use the split view of the Mac to peak in two apps at once.

When you want to see several browser tabs on one screen without everything getting mixed up, go back to split screen. Split screens allow you to have two sections, each with its own set of information. These sections keep you productive, allowing you to get your work done quickly and see more information at the same time without the need for a second screen.

There are multiple scenarios where you will find yourself using a split view on Mac. You can watch the latest Apple activity and take notes in a separate app in split screen. Read a PDF of the latest quarter results as you write a compliment email to the sales team. The scenarios do not end here.

In this post, we will explain how to use split screen on Mac and a troubleshooting trick if it doesn’t work on your Mac.

How to Enable Split Screen Mode on Mac

When you open an app or browser on Mac, you will see three options in the upper left corner: Minimize, Close, and Full Screen.

Normally Mac users use full screen mode to enter full screen on device. When you move the cursor to the full screen icon you will see three options,

  1. Make it full screen
  2. Tile Window to Left of Screen
  3. Tile Windows to Right of Screen
Three options at the top

Select the left or right tile to pin the app to the left or right side of the screen. The operating system will hide the Mac Dock and pinch the application left or right. Mac will show minimized apps on the other side. Select the application from the list and open the application in the second half of the screen.

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Select the app to split

How to Turn Off Split Screen

Turning off split screen on Mac is pretty easy. To exit split view mode on MacBook, press Escape key to return windows to normal mode.

Exit split screen

However, this method will not work if one of the apps has a different function of the Escape button. To exit one of the applications, you can click the green circle in the upper corner of the window. To exit the other application, open it (it will be in full screen mode) and click the green circle there as well.

How to Switch Sides in Split Screen

I watched the Microsoft Surface Duo event on YouTube last week and took notes of the device using Split view on Mac. I kept OneNote open on the left and YouTube on the right. I wanted to switch sides for better adjustments.

Change split screen edges

Instead of closing the split view and using it again, you can drag any window to the other side from the menu of any window.

How to Set Split Screen View on Mac

Sometimes you may need more screen space for an app in Split view than others. You can easily allocate how much space an application occupies.

Resize split window

Hold the black screen divider and move it left or right as much as you want. Note that some apps need a certain amount of space on the screen and won’t let you move the divider more than necessary.

Split Screen Not Working

By default, the Split screen function on your Mac should work flawlessly. If you cannot enable the option, you can follow these steps.

Stage 1: Tap the Apple icon in the upper left corner.

Step 2: Open the System Preferences menu.

Split screen not working

Stage 3: Go to the Dock and enable the ‘Displays have separate Spaces’ option.

Try split view again and see if it works. As for compatibility, Split view mode is supported by all operating systems starting with OS X El Capitan.

Split Screen Limitation on Mac

While the Split view mode on the Mac works well overall, there is one limitation that we would like Apple to address in future updates.

  • Apple provides a neat keyboard shortcut to enter full screen mode. You can use Command + Control + F for this. However, there is no native keyboard shortcut to enable split screen on Mac.
  • If two apps on the same screen aren’t enough for ultimate productivity, you’ll find that split view lets you down. Limited to only two apps.
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Multitask Intelligently on Mac

You can get more done easily using Split screen on Mac. I noticed that I use Split view mode on Mac more often than I thought. I’m sure you will feel the same. How do you intend to use Split screen on Mac? Which two apps do you normally keep in split view mode? Share your routine in the comments section below.

Next: Having trouble keeping things organized on your Mac? Read the post below to learn the seven best practices for staying organized.

Moyens Staff
Moyens I/O Staff has motivated you, giving you tips on technology, personal development, lifestyle and strategies that will help you.