Enable The Hidden Single-Application Mode in macOS Monterey

Learn how to easily enable the hidden single-application mode in macOS Monterey to boost productivity

Back in 1999, Steve Jobs showed off the new Finder in Mac OS X. It ran in single-application mode, meaning that when you switch from one app to another the first app would be automatically minimized.

23 years later, this feature is still pretty useful, especially if you want/need to maximize productivity while working in a specific app and quickly remove all distractions.

You don’t need to install a third party app because the feature is still built-in, but not enabled.

ALSO READ: Enable This Secret Scroll Gesture to Reveal App Windows on macOS Monterey

How to enable single-application mode on macOS Monterey

1. Open Terminal

2. Run defaults write com.apple.dock single-app -bool true;killall Dock

 

That’s all you have to do to activate single-application mode on macOS Monterey. If you’re running an older version of macOS, you can enable single-application mode following the exact same steps. In fact, the below demo of single-application mode was taken back in 2016 on macOS Sierra.

 

How to disable single-application mode on macOS Monterey

1. Open Terminal

2. Run defaults write com.apple.dock single-app -bool false;killall Dock

That’s it. Super easy to enable, makes a world of difference. Apple should allow users to enable/disable single-application mode with a single click somewhere in the settings.

This also works on M1 Macs. This is a feature of the OS not the architecture. And just like I’ve mentioned above, single-application mode is not specific to macOS Monterey. If you’re running an older version of macOS ( or OS X ) you can follow the same steps to enable/disable single-apllication mode.

TIP: to easily enable/disable single-application mode you can create an alias