Specific desktop Apps and Fullscreen


  • Assign App (Atom editor) to desktop N
  • Open App and toggle FullScreen (new space is created)
  • Open a file assigned to the App


  • Desktop N is shown but the App is not there since it’s has its own fullscreen space


  • App fullscreen space is shown with the open file

I guess that TotalSpaces gets notified when a window should get focus and then it switches to a specific desktop if that App has a mapping on the settings. What it should do is check if there is actually a window for the App in the mapped desktop and if not just allow the default OS algorithm to take place.

I just tried to reproduce this, but was unable to. The system correctly switches to the full screen atom, rather than the desktop it’s assigned to. So I wonder what is causing this on your machine.

TotalSpaces doesn’t actually participate in deciding which desktop is changed to when a window needs focus. It just obeys whatever desktop change requests the system makes.

Given this, I wonder do you see the same behaviour if you temporarily quit TotalSpaces and try it?

Thanks for the quick reply. I just did some more testing and found the following:

  • Opening an associated file from Finder correctly switches to the correct space
  • Opening it with open filename.ext in the terminal also works
  • Opening it with atom filename.ext shows the configured desktop instead of the fullscreen app.
  • Opening it with open -n filename.ext also wrongly shows the configured desktop
  • Quitting TotalSpaces has no effect on any of the above

So it seems like it’s something from OSX, however all the cases work just fine once I remove the mapping from TotalSpaces settings, which is weird since it affects the behaviour even when TotalSpaces isn’t running :-s

It’s not a big issue though, I can work around it easy enough, so feel free to close this issue unless it’s really low hanging fruit to fix it :slight_smile:



That’s a totally strange set of circumstances that triggers the bug, thanks for being so thorough in your investigation.

I’m not sure there’s anything to be done unfortunately. This is some odd interaction between OS X and Atom. Note that TotalSpaces does not actually maintain the database of which app is attached to which desktop - this is an OS X feature. TS just gives a nicer interface to it.

You can actually access these settings when TS is not running by ctrl-cliking an app in the Dock, and choosing Options then one of the items under Assign to.