Easy Mac Hacks: Speed up Mission Control

Every Monday we show you how to do something quick and cool using built-in OS X utilities such as Terminal, Apple’s command line application.

Every Monday we show you how to do something quick and cool using built-in OS X utilities such as Terminal, Apple’s command line application. These easy hacks can make life better and simpler, and don’t require any knowledge of coding — all you need is a keyboard to type 'em out!

Mission Control was released with OS X Lion to provide an easy-to-use switching manager for using multiple apps and desktops under a single user interface. As with other areas of OS X, animations in Mission Control are prevalent, but they do take time, and when switching your apps you want the fastest possible experience. Fortunately, with a little Terminal trick, you can reduce the time spent on these animations. Continue reading and we'll show you how it's done.

To speed up the animations on Mission Control, open the Terminal (located in /Applications/Utilities), and type in the following command, followed by the enter key:

defaults write com.apple.dock expose-animation-duration -float 0.15

To make the changes take effect, you can either log out and back in, or type the following command into Terminal to restart the Dock:

killall Dock

After restarting the Dock, the new and speedier animations will be available when activating both Exposé and Mission Control.

If you wish to restore the Mission Control animations to their default speed, then open the Terminal and type the following command followed by the enter key:

defaults delete com.apple.dock expose-animation-duration

Again, you can make the changes take effect by either logging out and back in, or by typing the following command into Terminal:

killall Dock

Cory Bohon is a freelance technology writer, indie Mac and iOS developer, and amateur photographer. Follow this article's author on Twitter.