How often do you use full screen apps?


macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 21, 2010
I've used full screen apps (Safari, mail, calendar, iWork, iPhoto, etc.) whenever possible for a while now but recently decided to try "minimizing" everything. I've found my workflow has improved substantially because I'm not constantly "swiping" to find the app I need. This tended to slow me down because invariable the app I was searching for was not full screen and I had to go through all open apps to discover.

For some reason I don't use spotlight to switch between apps as much as I probably should. It just seems easier to see the app icon in the dock and touch it to bring to the foreground versus a hot key sequence and typing. I'm also catching more real-time notifications from apps in the dock. Overall, I think that giving up the screen real-estate (retina macbook pro 13" here) is worth the improved navigation.

What is your experience? Do you tend to use the fullscreen mode or multi-task using the app windows slightly minimized?


macrumors 6502
Nov 28, 2014
Never in daily use.

The only time I do so is if I'm connected to a projector giving a presentation that involves actually demonstrating within non-presentation applications (i.e not a PowerPoint or Keynote). Then, using full-screen and [command]-[tab] works for very professional switching between apps.


macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2008
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Never. Floating windows are never managed correctly in fullscreen apps. I'd rather just hide the Dock and resize the window to take up the entire screen (and getting to the menu bar is actually less annoying this way).


macrumors 68000
Nov 29, 2009
I use them a lot on my Macbook, almost never on my iMac.


macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
Hong Kong
Every day, and I use the upper RH corner to activate mission control for quick app switching. Unless I need to frag a file to a full screen app, otherwise it works well in fullscreen for me.


macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2005
North Carolina
Never. I like having access to all the "distractions" that, y'know, comprise the bulk of the user interface.

Except maybe occasionally when I'm connected to a projector. But even then I prefer to not mirror and just drag the window I want to show over. Super nice how Mavs and Yosemite show the menubar on BOTH displays.


macrumors 601
Jul 1, 2004
I use full-screen apps all of the time. I'm on an 11" Air, which is my only personal computer (work provides a PC laptop). There are only a few applications that I don't run full screen: text edit for quick reference notes, terminal windows for quick commands and finder operations are all done in windowed mode. Everything else that stays up for more than a couple of minutes has it's own space.

Maybe it's slower than CMD-Tab, but it's the setup that I'm used to.


macrumors 65816
Jan 2, 2013
United Kingdom
I always go full screen on my Macbook to take advantage of the display. It depends what I'm using though.

I always make Safari go full screen but I don't make other apps, such as calendar, go full screen because I just use it for a few minutes at a time.


macrumors 65816
Jun 17, 2009
Lincolnshire, England
Very very rarely, I like having multiple windows and it just feels easier for me to use Expose or CMD+Tab. I do sometimes put iTunes or Google Music full screen then swipe over to change songs instead of minimising it.


macrumors member
Nov 13, 2012
Western NY
Very rarely. Most instances are with Screen Sharing or if I'm going to be camping out in an app for an extended period of time and/or need the space within the app window. Typically w/ Safari or OpenOffice.


macrumors 6502
Jul 26, 2014
All day, everyday.

My default is 2 desktops, 3 full screen safari windows and a full screen terminal window. Depending on activity, this can expand as needed.

I use cmd-tab to switch between them along with 3 finger swipe to move between safari windows. When there are multiple full screen windows for an app, such as safari, cmd-tab takes you to the last active one.

I also drag and drop items from the desktop, such as screen shots, into a safari window running web mail.



macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2010
Some Apps I use fullscreen some of the time. Like a corporate DB application.

I ALWAYS have Mail fullscreen as my second desktop and Calendar fullscreen as my third desktop, though.