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How to split screen on a Mac in just a few clicks – CNET

How to enter Split View on a Mac

Learning how to use split screen mode on your Mac can help you multitask.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Sometimes you just need to multitask. Whether you need to glance at data to write a work report, keep a chat window open while browsing, or just watch videos as you “work” on your novel, one window isn’t always enough. But juggling between full-screen windows can be tedious and time-consuming. 

Fortunately, Macs offer a split screen mode, which allows you to stick two apps (or two separate browser windows) on different sides of your display. That way, you can glance between windows without having to navigate with your mouse or pressing Command + Tab. 

How to enter Split View on a Mac

1. Make sure neither window you want to use is in full-screen mode.

2. In one of the windows you want to use, place your cursor over the green button in the top left. Instead of clicking to maximize the window, hover until you see a drop-down menu.

3. Select Tile Window to Left of Screen or Tile Window to Right of Screen. Your Mac will automatically enter split-screen mode.

4. From there, other open windows will be displayed on the opposite side of the screen. Click the window you want on the rest of your screen, and it will fill the remaining half.

5. If you want to adjust the size of the windows, use the slider in the center of the screen.

In Split View, you’ll be able to look at both windows simultaneously. Multitask away!

Read more: This is one thing every Mac owner should know how to do

How to enter Split View on a Mac

Use split screen mode when you need a productivity boost.

Sarah Tew/CNET

How to exit split screen on Macs

If you’re done using the split screen layout, here’s how to get out of it:

1. Move your cursor to the top of the screen until you see the sizing buttons at the top left of each window. 

2. Click the red button to close that window or the green button to exit split screen.

3. Don’t panic! Your other window is still open — it’s just hidden in full-screen mode. To access it again, press the Mission Control button (F3) on the top row of your keyboard.

4. You should see two options at the top of the screen: Desktop and whatever window you had in split-screen mode. Click the other window, and use the green sizing button in the top left if you want to exit full-screen mode.

If you’re the kind of person (like me) who might need more than two windows open, you can always manually resize windows to fit three or four on your screen at once. The experience just won’t be as visually clean as using tiled windows. 

Why won’t my Mac do split screen?

First, make sure you’re not currently in fullscreen mode. Split screen only works from the normal windowed view. If that’s not the issue, go to System Preferences > Mission Control and check to see whether Displays have separate Spaces is enabled. If not, enable it.

If you don’t see that option in the Mission Control menu, make sure you’ve updated to MacOS 10.11 or later. You can check your current OS version by clicking the Apple icon in the top left menu and then selecting About this Mac. If you’re using an earlier version, you’ll have to update by clicking the Software Update button on that screen.

Keep in mind that not all apps support split screen. If you’ve tried everything else and the app still won’t tile in split screen mode, the app probably doesn’t offer split screen mode. 

How do you split screens on a Mac without full screen?

The official split screen function on Macs (called “Split View”) automatically splits two windows in full screen. If you don’t want the full-screen view (perhaps because you want to be able to quickly navigate between browser tabs), you can manually drag your windows to fit the desired space. This option gives you a little more customization than Split View, which restricts windows to being between one-third of the screen to two-thirds. 

What is the keyboard shortcut for split screen on Mac?

Start by using control + command + F to enter full-screen mode. From there you can hit F3 to pull up Mission Control and drag another app onto the app you currently have in full screen. Click back into the newly tiled apps and you’ll be in Split View. 

If that’s still too many steps, you can create your own keyboard shortcut. Go to System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > App Shortcuts. You can click the + button to add a command named “Tile Window to Left of Screen” using your desired shortcut. Once you’ve activated the shortcut, your active window will tile to the left side of the screen and you can simply select a second window to be added to your split screen.

For more, check out how to download the MacOS Monterey public beta, and 10 MacOS tricks every Mac power user needs to know.

Now playing: Watch this: Hands-on with MacOS Monterey


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