Issue: Desktop disappearing when external monitor disconnected


I was looking for the features and found TotalSpaces which fulfills my requirement so I bought it.

But there seems to be an issue in the layout

I usually use external monitor with my MBP. I have a layout of single row with four columns on each display, so totally I have eight desktops and I have sync grid selected.

The problem occurs when I disconnect the external display, the desktop in the first column of both display gets merged into single, hence instead of eight desktop there were only seven in count. Upon reconnecting Total Spaces automatically created an extra desktop in place for the first column that got merged upon disconnection.

The expected behavior is, the layout should be maintained even when the external monitor get disconnected.

Please look at this issue and resolve it ASAP, this affects my productivity hugely when I am not using my external monitor.


I’m pretty confident this is a behavior built into OS X. Can you confirm which version of OS X and TotalSpaces you’re running?

Also, if you’re on 10.11 El Capitan, please tell me your SIP status (by running csrutil in Terminal).


I have the same issue.
I have SIP disabled.

I usually work with 2 external monitors (closed lid) 4 desktops (2 x 2) each monitor = 8 spaces.
then I have to work somewhere else (only macbook ) then I get 7 desktops (all asigned to single display) (3 rows, 2 columns -> only 1 desktop in last row)


Well, again, this is the behavior built into OS X. I might be able to change this behavior, but first we need to decide what should be changed.

You’re saying, you want all Spaces and windows to be restored upon reconnecting the second monitor?

How should TotalSpaces decide what windows to restore? For example, imagine you disconnect the monitor, work for a few hours and move around a lot of windows in that time. What to do? TotalSpaces would need a few different policies, since every user will want something different.


I’d like to keep same number of desktops (currently removing 1 if external monitor is unplugged). When plugged again. All desktops are restored with the same configuration).
I think providing profiles is a good way to go, so we can switch profiles depending on the number of available displays


The problem is, once I disconnect my external monitor the the first desktop gets merged leaving 7 desktops (4 desktop in row 1 and 3 desktop in row 2), this makes the layout asymmetrical and difficult to navigate vertically between rows (since the linked desktops get misplaced due to that missing desktop)

I think this is not the expected behavior, created layout should stay same even after disconnecting external monitor.

However reconnecting the external monitor restores the layout perfectly to 2 x 4


I have the same problem, with a 3x3 grid on both displays.

I named the desktops on my laptop P1 through P9, and the external display S1 through S9.

It’s S1 that disappears every time. No matter what I change the grid size to, it’s always the first desktop on the external display that vanishes.

I’m on macOS 10.12.3 and the latest 2.4.9 of TotalSpaces2. I’ve used csrutil to enable debug and dtrace


Any update on this? It would be great if total spaces remembers the layout after disconnecting my external monitor, because it spoils the one thing which I use Total spaces for.


@BinarySteve I would still vote for this. Is there any plan to implement this?


@BinarySteve Unplugging external monitor converges both 1st spaces into 1st internal space this is the reason for the problem, fixing this behaviour of OS X (I don’t know why Apple made that decision!) is what is needed. Happy to see this in Total Spaces (probably Total Spaces 3 :wink: and I will pay again :-D)