Desktops multiplying by themselves

For some reason additional desktops are being added by themselves over time, nit sure when or how exactly. I keep a 3 x 3 grid, so 9 desktops, but I after a while (= couple of days) am at 11 or 15 and I don’t understand how this happens. I then go into prefs and reduce the number of rows, deleting the extra desktops, but after a few days I have more again. Could be after login, could be while I’m working, I*ll continue to observe. Yosemite 10.10.3 and two displays attached.

Any ideas?


It might happen if you have an external monitor (you mention you have 2 displays) and you disconnect it. In this circumstance OSX migrates the desktops to the single display, creating extra rows in TotalSpaces.

But when you reconnect the second display, the spaces ought to be migrated back there.

Could it be something to do with this?

Hi Stephen,

thanks for your reply. I don’t really connect / disconnect the displays, I just power them off at night when the Mac is shut down. Possibly I am turning them off before the system is powered down completely, so I will pay attention to that, or if there are maybe situations like system going to sleep (i.e. first putting monitors into power save after 15 minutes) which could cause this.

I will post here how I get on with that.


This morning after startup i had 9 desktops, now there are 10…
I’ll keep observing to see when they are being added.


Just restarted without touching the screens (i.e. they were turned on and remained turned on).
After restart I have one desktop more = 11.


HI Stephen,

it is definitely a start-up / restart issue. After startup today, I’m up another desktop and now have 12. I do not have any applications with visible UI starting up as I log in, so nothing that is assigned to any desktop, if that helps at all.

Any idea how i can further pin down the issue?

Many thanks,

Hi Stephen,

more news: Discovered in the pereferences yesterday that each display can have its own number of desktops assigned. I had 9 on my primary display and only one on my secondary display. So I thought that could be the problem. Added 8 desktops to my secondary screen, so the both had a 3 x 3 grid = 9 desktops. Today after restart my primary display has 18 desktops and the secondary only 1. So it seems the desktops of the secondary display are being added to the primary display after restart and the secondary display gets only one desktop.

The prefs option “Sync grids (keep screens on the same space number)” was always checked. Could that interfere? I will turn that off and see what happens.

Hope this info helps you to figure out what is going on…

Many thanks and best regards,


Sync grids won’t affect this.

I think this is an issue we have sometimes seen in various forms. It’s odd, and it’s something that the operating system is doing - re-assigning the spaces to the wrong monitor.

I don’t know how to prevent it, but the best I can do is to provide a work-around. Here is a helper app:

It uses the TS2 API to record desktop settings, and to subsequently restore desktops to their intended screens. Does it help your situation? You can set it to automatically restore your desktop layout if it’s running.

You must have a registered copy of TotalSpaces2 for this app to work.

(Please let me know if it works ok - I had one user report a crash which I am working to fix.)