How To Use Split View On Your Mac

Split View allows you to use Full Screen mode but with two apps instead of just one. You start Split View by holding the green button on one window and then choosing the left or right side. Then you click on another app to place it on the other side. The Split View screen acts as a Desktop and can be accessed from Mission Control. You can exit Split View by using the green button again on one of the two apps, which leaves the other app behind in Full Screen mode. But there is a way to exit Split View and return both apps to normal mode at the same time.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: How To Use Split View On Your Mac.

Hi, this is Gary with MacMost is brought to you by the more than 300 people that contribute to the MacMost Patreon campaign. Find out how you can become a part of it at

So it's been awhile since I've talked about Split View. Split View is a way for you to take apps on your Mac full screen but instead of a single app on that full screen you can share it with two apps. It's pretty easy to startup but a little bit hard to get out of. So as an example here let's say I've got a bunch of stuff and it's crowding my window. I just want to focus on Reminders and Safari here. To get to Split View mode you use the green button. Now this is the same thing you use for full screen modes. If I just click it I go to full screen mode.

I've taken Safari to full screen mode now and you can see the Menu Bar is gone but it reappears if I bring my cursor to the top. In addition if I use Mission Control with Control, Control not Command but Control, and the up arrow I can see I've got my Desktop here and I've got Safari full screen. I can click on one to go to it. I can also use Control and left arrow and right arrow to move between those screens. Now to Exit I click the green button again. Now I'm back to everything just being on this Desktop.

Now to do Split View you click this green button but you Hold it. You don't just release. So I'm going to click and hold and after one second you can see I get this view where half the screen is shaded blue and it's the half with the cursor over it. So I'm basically dragging and dropping this window to which side of the screen I want it to be on. This whole time I still have my trackpad or mouse pressed down, holding it. So I'm going to release it here and it puts this app on that side of the screen and all the other windows are going to appear on the other side and I get to choose one. So I click on the one I want. So I'm going to click on Reminders.

Now I've entered the Split Screen mode and I can move my cursor to the top and get the Menu Bar there and the tools for both windows at the same time. I also get this little divider bar here that I can drag back and forth. Now how much you can drag it back and forth depends upon the app. So there's a limit. For instance if I try to drag to the right you can see Safari only goes and collapses this far. Reminders collapses a little bit further and it could be just a narrow list. Other apps won't let you go past halfway. So it depends upon the app and what it handles.

So now you can use this in Split Screen or Split View mode. I can Control up arrow again to look at Mission Control and see this is now the Reminders and Safari Desktop. I can go back to it. I can use Control and left to go to the Desktop. Control and right to go back.

Now the tricky part is exiting this. Exiting this isn't really that great. It doesn't work very well. You basically would click here at one of these green buttons and it will take that one app out. So let me do that. I'll click there and you can see it puts Reminders back. But if I look at Mission Control, Control up arrow, you can see Safari now is its own full screen. So it leaves behind this other one. I have to go to it and also have it exit full screen mode. So it takes a bunch of steps to get out of it.

But there is a better way though. If I click and hold and enter Split Screen mode here. Maybe I'll bring Calendar in this time. Calendar is an app that you can't go past halfway. You cannot drag it to the left anymore. I can give it a little bit more space but I can't go to the left much. Now if I want to exit here I can do it by going to Mission Control, so I'm going to do Control up arrow, and if I move my cursor here and wait you can see I've got this little button here to exit full screen mode. I click on that and that pulls both apps out. Now I can click on the Desktop there and both apps have now returned to be on this screen. So that's a way to do it that's a little less messy than taking one out and than taking the other one out separately.

Here's a quick summary of what you need to do to get in and out of Split View. To get in you click and hold the green button at the top left corner of the video. You drag to theft or right. Then you click a second app for the other half. To resize once you're in Split View you just drag the middle line left or right. To switch to another app, so you're using those two but then you want to go to another app back on the main Desktop, you can Command Tab to just go to the other app just like you would normally or you can use Control and the left arrow to go back to your Desktop to see the apps there.

To Exit Split View you go to the top of the screen so you can see the tools at the top. You click on the green button. A shortcut for that, by the way, is Command Control F. Then you have to go and Control right to go back to the Desktop which is now full screen for the remaining app. Then you click the green button there to get that one back out to a normal window.

A better way to do it though is to simply Control up arrow and then hover over the Split View at the top and click the Close button and this takes both apps out.

Comments: 4 Responses to “How To Use Split View On Your Mac”

    4 weeks ago

    I didn’t know about this at all!

    Thanks Gary.

    4 weeks ago

    Does not work for me – clicking and holding the green button then releasing makes that window take up the entire width of my two Apple cinema monitors that act as one (Matrox). To either side of the content window is empty blank space, I can’t move the content window. I can move the cursor up, bring to the fore the menu bar and click again on the green button to revert to normal. Has anyone else with a Matrox setup been able to make this work?

    4 weeks ago

    Lorenz: Not sure what you mean by a “Matrox setup.” Which app(s) are you trying to use here?

    4 weeks ago

    Thanks Gary, I’d forgotten how to split the screen though you taught me that a few years ago. Teflon brain.

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