VMWare Fusion: Switch from Full Screen to Mac Applications

When Command+Tab switching between my fullscreen Windows session and another Mac application I would be able to switch to VMware fusion, but I would not be able to switch back to the fullscreen session without clicking on the Window menu and selecting my VM.

I should also further clarify that this is a 27” iMac with two external monitors attached.  When running in single monitor mode I was able to switch fine, however when I go into full screen mode with multiple monitors I couldn’t Command+Tab switch back to my Windows VM.

I figured out this behavior is caused by Mission Control in OS 10.8.  To resolve the issue I checked “When switching to an application, switch to a space with open windows for the application”.  Voila!  I can now switch between my Mac OS apps and my fullscreen Windows session!


2 thoughts on “VMWare Fusion: Switch from Full Screen to Mac Applications”

  1. I cannot thank you enough for this post. This behavior has been maddening, so much so that I was just not using both monitors for my VM because app switching was so clunky. I like to use BBedit for editing my windows files, so I’m switching back and forth quite a bit.

    Similarly, I was running my VM as a window on my 11″ air and giving up precious screen space, as opposed to using full-screen mode. I preferred losing screen space to the alternative of needing to select my VM from the window menu every single time I switched to another Mac app and then back again.

    I have a related question. Can I adjustVMware Fusion, when using full screen mode with multiple monitors, so that the virtual machine is NOT hidden when I switch to another app? I’d like to have the VM visible underneath my Mac app windows, rather than have it hidden. It stays visible in full screen mode with one monitor, but it’s hidden under full screen-multi monitors. I wonder if there’s some way to tell Fusion to not use spaces but still go full screen – it seems that would solve the problem.

    1. Mac OS X 10.9 only switches the active windows of an application, so it will leave a full screen VM up on the other monitors. However if you start interacting with the VM it will switch all monitors back to the fullscreen VM. I wish there was a way to specify which monitors to use for fullscreen VMs.

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