One of the things I've noticed about OS X Lion that is really annoying me is that when you switch desktop to the next one over (this starts out as the Ctrl + / shortcut) this animation is much slower than the switch animation that gets set off when you switch desktops with the keyboards shortcut for go to desktop number X.

Is there any way to override the speed so that I can get faster switching of desktops with the move between adjacent desktops keyboard shortcut?

  • 1
    Just curious, why would you want to do this? Does the couple milliseconds really make a difference?
    – Vervious
    Jul 22 '11 at 5:05
  • 22
    The speed difference is enough that it doesn't feel natural for me to use the arrows to switch between desktops the way I did with expose in snow leopard. Also, if you are using the machine for professional development and you are going to do this probably 1000 times a day, yes it does matter. Jul 22 '11 at 5:43
  • 2
    I've got the same issue here and it also annoys me, too. In the snow leopard spaces switching was just faster, as there was no black background between spaces. I also miss a way to align Virtual Desktops in two rows and to move windows directly from one space to another in the smaller upper preview list. Seems like there is need for a third party virtual desktop app on OSX again.
    – user91278
    Jul 22 '11 at 12:44
  • 2
    I'm also looking for a solution for this. I find the fact the WHOLE screen (desktop background, icons etc.) moves every time makes me feel a bit dizzy. As chuck mentioned, I use my machine for development and sometimes switch desktops 5 times in 5 seconds (to do different tasks v quickly) and the new animation isn;t really suitable for this.
    – user91396
    Jul 23 '11 at 11:08
  • 2
    @Randolph The animation with Ctrl-L/R slows down toward the end, with the direct jump to a desktop, it doesn't. At least, that's how I perceive it.
    – Daniel Beck
    Jul 23 '11 at 11:22

It seems like there is currently no way to change the animation speed. (On a related note: Moving through the spaces with Ctrl-[1,2, ...] does work a little faster.)

There also is a related question at apple stackexchange.


Open up terminal and type this at the prompt:

defaults write com.apple.dock workspaces-swoosh-animation-off -bool YES && \
   killall Dock
  • 8
    I am pretty sure that doesn't work in Lion.
    – daviesgeek
    Aug 21 '11 at 15:33
  • You are correct. It used to work in the developer preview, so I'm wondering why they've taken it out of the final release.
    – l'L'l
    Aug 21 '11 at 18:21
  • What does this even do? Nov 5 '11 at 12:07
  • In earlier OS X releases, this completely removed the animated transition triggered by switching between workspaces. In effect, it would just cut straight to the new workspace, without any transition at all. Nov 7 '11 at 7:07
  • Confirmed: Does not work in Lion (tested 10.7.4).
    – afternoon
    Jul 28 '12 at 12:12

TotalSpaces has options to make the animations faster or to remove them. There's a small additional delay before spaces are changed though. Disabling transitions appears somewhat glitchy at least on my installation of 10.8.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.