When you invoke Mission Control on OS X El Capitan using the typical gesture on your Mac’s trackpad or via a keyboard shortcut, you’ve probably noticed that the desktop bar at the top of the interface appears minimized. Although this yields additional real estate for the app windows below the desktop bar, it means that you no longer get to see the handy thumbnails that represent each desktop without moving your mouse to the desktop bar area.

There are some workarounds to defeating this OS X El Capitan change, including an open source utility called Force Full Desktop Bar. But for those of you who don’t wish to go through the trouble of installing a separate utility, which also requires you to disable El Capitan’s System Integrity Protection, try this handy Hot Corner shortcut instead.

Invoke full Mission Control using a Hot Corner shortcut

Step 1: Open System Preferences → Mission Control.

Step 2: Click Hot Corners in the bottom left-hand corner of the Mission Control preferences.

Step 3: Select the Hot Corner in the upper right-hand corner or the upper left-hand corner, apply the Mission Control shortcut and click OK.

Step 4: Invoke Mission Control by moving your cursor to the corner that you designated in Step 4.

You should now see the Mission Control interface with the desktop bar already expanded. This works, because your mouse cursor is already in the area required to auto-expand the desktop bar. By using an upper Hot Corner, you’re basically boiling down the full Mission Control invocation requirements to a single gesture.

Video Walkthrough

While such a gesture doesn’t replace the four-finger swipe up gesture or the keyboard shortcut for Mission Control, I’ve found that this method works better for me. It not only simplifies the gesture needed to open Mission Control, but it expands the desktop bar at the same time. It’s a classic two birds with one stone scenario.

If you’re dead set on using the traditional Mission Control gestures, then by all means check out Brian Kendall’s Force Full Desktop Bar on GitHub. For others, you may find that this Hot Corner method is sufficient enough for your needs.

Be sure to check out yesterday’s post that showed how to group Mission Control windows together. Also, have a look at our full lineup of handy OS X tips for more Mac goodness.

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