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How to pin an app to virtual desktops on macOS

Virtual Desktops on macOS are excellent for multi-tasking; they’re easy to switch between and they allow you to segregate apps when you have to use one-too-many of them all at once. 

Virtual desktops are great for keeping work organized e.g., a different Chrome profile can be kept on different desktops and users can switch between them with a swipe or a keyboard gesture.

Pin app to virtual desktop on macOS

Users can easily, and freely move an app between virtual desktops on macOS, and the apps can be moved at any time. Of course, no one likes to organize apps across virtual desktops which is why it’s easier to pin an app to a virtual desktop. 

  1. Go to Mission Control on your macOS desktop (Control+Up Arrow or three-finger swipe up).
  2. Create as many desktops as you think you will need.
  3. Open the app you want to assign to a desktop.
  4. From Mission Control, move the app to the desktop you want to assign it to.
  5. Right-click the app’s Dock icon.
  6. Go to Options>This Desktop.
  7. The app will be pinned to the current desktop.

Pin/show app on all desktops

An app or app window once moved to a different virtual desktop, will only appear on that desktop. Of course, not all apps allow you to run multiple instances and some apps have to be used on all desktops.

Switching to, or remembering which desktop the app is open on becomes counter-productive. To make work easier, you can pin or show an app on all desktops. 

  1. Go to Mission Control (Control+Up arrow or three-finger swipe up).
  2. Create at least one virtual desktop i.e. you should see two desktops in Mission Control.
  3. Open the app you want to pin or show on all desktops.
  4. Right-click the app’s icon on the Dock.
  5. Go to Options and select All Desktops. 
  6. The app/window will now appear on all virtual desktops.


Virtual desktops are great not just because they divide work and keep apps and windows organized but also, from a multitasking point, they’re easy to work with even when you’re trying to switch between app windows. 

Virtual desktops have been a part of macOS for years and it has been refined to the point where you won’t find it lacking in much. The desktops can be rearranged, they can work seamlessly with Spaces, and they can self-organize. The only thing missing is an option to name desktops.

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