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How to use split view on a MacBook

How to use split view on a MacBook


Work painlessly in two windows

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A MacBook, open, displaying the macOS Big Sur default desktop background, on a grid of macOS icons.
Let’s split this baby up.
Illustration by Samar Haddad / The Verge

If you want to work with two apps, side by side, at the same time on a Mac computer, Split View is your friend. Sure, you could just resize the two apps manually yourself. But using Split View will do that automatically for you and save you some time.

Another benefit of Split View is that it temporarily makes all of your other windows go away. That means you won’t accidentally click off your windows and have other things popping up to cover them up. If you need to access something else, you can simply exit Split View (which we’ll also show you how to do below).

Here’s how to use Split View on a MacBook.

How to use Split View on a MacBook

To use Split View, you will need to be using two apps that support Split View on macOS. A lot of these are going to be Apple’s own apps, including Maps and Photos. You’ll get a feel for what is and isn’t compatible the more you use the feature.

We’re doing this on macOS Monterey, but the procedure will be relatively similar for anyone running Catalina or later.

  • Right-click the green button in the top left corner of your window.
  • Select Tile Window to Left of Screen or Tile Window to Right of Screen.
A screenshot of Pages open in macOS Monterey. The Fullscreen button is right clicked with “Move Window to Left Side of Screen” highlighted.
Here’s what the menu looks like.
  • On the opposite side, select the other app that you want to appear.
A screenshot of Split Screen view in macOS Monterey with Photos open on the left and Maps as an option on the right pane.
Here’s what it’ll look like once you’ve snapped the first window over.

Once you’re in desktop mode, you can click and drag your windows in order to swap their sides. You can also click and drag the bar between the two windows in order to make the sides bigger or smaller.

How to exit Split View on a MacBook

If you want to duck out of Split View temporarily, you can do so by swiping right with four fingers on your trackpad. Swipe left (with four fingers again) to get back into it.

To get rid of Split View entirely:

  • Move your cursor to the top of one of your open apps and right-click the green button. This will send that window to fullscreen and exit Split View.
  • If you decide you’d rather the other window be fullscreen, swipe left with four fingers on your trackpad.