How to Use Split View in OS X El Capitan

Discussion in 'Guides, How Tos and Reviews' started by MacRumors, Oct 26, 2015.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    With the recent release of OS X El Capitan, Mac users can now take advantage of full-screen apps in a split screen view. That is, a compatible app will zoom to take up an entire half of the screen and you can do the same with a second one, giving you two apps side-by-side in full-screen mode.

    While the basics of Split View are simple, there are a few aspects you might want to get familiar with to make the most productive use of the feature.


    To activate Split View, click and hold on the green expand button in the upper left corner of a compatible app's window.


    While you are holding down the button, one side of the screen will be shaded in blue. Release the button and the app will automatically format to fit half of the screen.

    At the same time, any compatible apps that are open will automatically shift to the opposite side of the screen. Any apps that are not compatible will shrink down into the lower right corner of the screen. If you try to access them, you will receive a notification that the app isn't available in Split View mode.

    Click here to

    Article Link: How to Use Split View in OS X El Capitan
  2. LastLine macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2005
    Honestly didn't know this existed and have been on beta since day one. Thanks. I'll use this a lot!
  3. captain cadet macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2012
    As much as I hate saying this, its so much easier in Windows where you drag the window to the side of the screen and it snaps into place or you press windows and the arrow key where you want to go.
    Its so much easier and I don't actually use this features as its a little longer to do
  4. NY Guitarist macrumors 65816

    NY Guitarist

    Mar 21, 2011
    I guess Safari is not compatible :(

    Oops I was holding it or pressing it wrong :)
  5. iphonedude2008 macrumors 65816


    Nov 7, 2009
    Irvine, CA
    No it is compatible. I use it all the time
  6. NY Guitarist macrumors 65816

    NY Guitarist

    Mar 21, 2011

    Thanks! Very cool feature that I'll use often!
  7. btrach144 macrumors 65816


    Aug 28, 2015
    Microsoft did a better job of implementing this. Still a neat feature to have/use though.
  8. ignatius345 macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2015
    You can also drag your window up to the top thumbnail of the full-screen app where you want it to end up. This is much easier to do than to describe :)
  9. iphonedude2008 macrumors 65816


    Nov 7, 2009
    Irvine, CA
    Oh my god. That is so much better. Thanks so much.
  10. H.Finch macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2013
    Ill start using this as soon as it works without the need of 'full screen'. I hate, -and see no reason for full screen apps on a (large, 27" inch) desktop personally... except movies maybe. So for now I'd say; Apple... You're implementing it wrong'
  11. jkool macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2002
  12. nezr macrumors regular


    Feb 19, 2010
    Vancouver, BC
    I'd rather slide through multiple desktop screens than to do split screen.
  13. star-affinity macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2007
    Please elaborate. I don't get it. :)
  14. digitalhen macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2006
    Ah, I find Windows (and the Mac App called Plexiglass) to be much more flexible.

    I've got Ctrl-Opt-Cmd left arrow / right arrow to snap between the sides of my screen. C-O-C p jumps to the next screen, and C-O-C f goes full screen.

  15. APlotdevice, Oct 26, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 27, 2015

    APlotdevice macrumors 68040


    Sep 3, 2011
    I didn't know about clicking and holding the green button; I've just been snapping apps together in Mission Control.

    They really need to work on the "disassembly" aspect IMO. Like you can drag them together in Mission Control, so why can't I just drag the components off again without having to window them both first? And why can't I shift/option/whatever click the green button to split them both into fullscreen apps?

    The split screen is useful for productivity purposes, like dragging images into keynote.
  16. shareef777 Suspended


    Jul 26, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    BetterSnapTool. Have been using that for years (well before El Capitan was released). Way better then split view as I have the benefit of expanding any app to half the screen and still having multiple apps in the other half. I can also expand windows to just a quarter of the screen and it can all be done by dragging to the edge.
  17. einmusiker macrumors 68030


    Apr 26, 2010
    Location: Location: Location:
  18. harley3k macrumors 6502


    Feb 6, 2008
  19. Spink10 Suspended


    Nov 3, 2011
    Better Snap Tool - completely destroys this lame El Capitan feature.
  20. shareef777 Suspended


    Jul 26, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Yep, and it's been available YEARS before El Cap.
  21. cheesyappleuser macrumors 6502a


    Apr 5, 2011
    Well, I don't know, really…
    As an old-timer Windows user (who finally bought a Mac) I have to say the implementations are somewhat different by nature because of the way both OSes use fullscreen. I mean, making an app fullscreen on the Mac is very different from doing it in Windows, and it has huge benefits, mostly. So having that sort of implementation on the Mac is impossible.

    Even so, I do think Split View can be improved by a good margin, and also don't understand why you can't drag smaller windows (e.g. Calculator) to a fullscreen app. It's ridiculous it doesn't work like that.
  22. iGeek2014 macrumors 68020

    Jun 29, 2014
    === Nowheresville ===
    This is one feature I sorely missed from my Windows 7 days (before I converted to OS X). I use an app called Hyperdock as it feels much more intuitive than Apple's implementation; however it's great to see the Cupertino firm finally add it to their software.

    Next stop: iPhone 6 Plus/6s Plus!
  23. zzLZHzz macrumors 6502

    Mar 9, 2012
    i agreed that it is much better in Windows especially in Windows 10 where you can split the view up to 4 different apps and it give you suggestion on which to split.

    however there is little bit which EX Capitan did better and that is the resizing of the window. you can't drag the divider between windows to adjust the spaces. it used to be possible in Windows 8 modern app but was removed in Windows 10.

    on this aspect, i secretly wish that apple and microsoft copy each other.
  24. rgeneral macrumors member

    Dec 2, 2012
    On other hand, I always dislike it would accidentally put snap. on some occasions, i just want to move the window and it snaps. I actually like this feature where you have to press button.
  25. dstud208 macrumors member


    Mar 14, 2013

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