How To Turn Off Split Screen In Mail

Do you want to write emails in full-screen mode? If you use Mail full screen, you will be able to write, read and access your inbox at the same time. Also you may find bigger screens better than split screens and this may affect the way you work. However you may also want to disable this feature for various reasons.

Full screens means that any app or window (e.g., the Mail app) occupies the whole computer screen.

By default, you Mac will open a split screen view when you are in full screen. This means that, for example, when you click to compose a message, your screen will automatically split (see the images below). You can disable this. You can also change that new message window will slide up from the bottom of your screen. This short article explains how you can disable the split view mode in the macOS Mail app.

See also: Mac Mail App Opens Itself Randomly, Fix

Mac Mail Split View
Split Screen
Mac Full Screen
Not Split Screen


1-Open the Mail app on your Mac by clicking the Mail icon. You can also open Spotlight and search for it.

2-In the Mail app, click, Mail and then Preferences (or you can press the Command and , buttons together)

Mail app preferences

3-Click the General tab

Mail General Preferences

4- And now deselect “Prefer opening messages in split view when in full screen.” box

Mac Split View

Now you are done. There is no OK or Save button. Just close the window. If you want to enable the Split View feature, just recheck this box.

See also: Mail app won’t open?

Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University. Here is his LinkedIn profile.

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21 thoughts on “How To Turn Off Split Screen In Mail”

  1. I have the same problem with the email popping up in split screen. It is so annoying when watching a movie or using other apps. I turned the split screen option off and this does not fix the problem. I used to love my Mac until this issue. I’m ready to switch back to PC. Unbelievable that so many people complain about this split screen issue and Apple doesn’t fix this problem.

  2. This might work, but no promises.
  3. Not just that it keeps happening, but it happens for no reason at all. Like, no mail was received, but it still split screen.

    Really annoying thing

  4. This kept happening, usually after an hour or so, with mojave OS on my MacBook Air. It’s still happening with updating to Catalina 10.15.5. At no time have I ever checked the box allowing a split-screen email facility. It happens about an hour into movies ibeing watched in full-screen. It’s not triggered by the arrival of new mail. Once it happens, it keeps happening until I exit mail. Then it spontaneously re-appears, sometime a half-hour later, sometimes befor that, and when I look at my mail preferences, the box requesting split screen for mail arrivals is still unchecked.

  5. Me too, with Mojave 10.14.6. I never selected “Prefer opening messages in split view…” and out of the blue two nights ago, messages started opening in their own individual windows.
    Please HELP!

  6. Please help! I HATE the split screen when I open my e-mails! PLEASE fix it! Ready to through this thing out the window! Why don’t you fix it when so many people have complained for so long? Doesn’t speak well of your company!

  7. FYI, to all. I called Apple support over a year ago and they couldn’t solve this problem then either. The tech said he’d log it as a bug. Obviously it doesn’t have any priority in their bug-fix queue because its still going on. For me, the problem comes and goes for weeks at a time without explanation (regardless of the status of the split-screen toggle being on or off). Every time there’s a new release of Mac OS I hope its been fixed, but no luck… its driving my crazy as I write this..


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