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I have my macbook air with an external display, configured with extended desktop like this

enter image description here

I also have my browser in full screen in a different desktop, shown in the built-in display.

When I "three finger swipe" to go to my browser, the external monitor also switches.

Is it possible to only change desktops in my built-in display, and leave the external display as is (without it also switching and showing a gray background), locked in the first desktop?

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I believe this will be available in OS X 10.9 Mavericks - as evidenced by this video youtube.com/watch?v=Mi6AhogZCeg – dankind Jun 25 '13 at 17:23
    
I'm actually trying to do the opposite.. get my external monitor to switch as well.. right now it shows the same thing all the time. – Chris Mar 4 '15 at 23:13
    
Found a solution here: heggen.org/using-spaces-with-dual-monitors-in-os-x-mavericks – Chris Mar 4 '15 at 23:17

No. It's unfortunately not possible.

In some applications, you can run an application in full screen on one monitor and move tools from that app to a second monitor, but you can’t have a Full Screen Application AND use your second monitor for other applications.

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I upvoted this as well because I am using full screen now and am unhappy that I can't use dual monitors this way. A workaround is to "maximize" the windows your using by resizing them, but that's totally not the same. I feel your pain. If you noticed, you also can't keep the camera running for facetime and several other apps. Hopefully this will change. – Andrew Robinson Nov 15 '12 at 3:12

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