7 Replies Latest reply: Jul 19, 2012 2:12 PM by Austin Kinsella1
Carlos Raniery Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)



Please consider this scenario. You are at work, dealing with a specific set of applications and files. At the end of the day you close your mac and goes home. At home you want to watch a movie or do some personal activity, but you do not want to loose the context (i.e., set of applications and files) which you was working on.


Is there any application or feature in Mac OS able to do this? For example, I really would love to click on a save context button and then have all my space clear to start a new work. Them I could click on a load context button and have back all the applications and files I was working on.


Virtual machines have this concept of snapshot, which resembles my problem.


Thank you

  • Austin Kinsella1 Level 6 Level 6 (11,520 points)

    You could create a separate user account for use at home. Leave both logged in, and switch between them with fast user switching.

  • Carlos Raniery Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Austin, thank you for your response.


    It may work when working with few contexts. However, I handle with multiple projects at work and will be usefull having a feature like that. Any other suggestion?


    In fact, I've never saw anything like that at any OS.

  • Austin Kinsella1 Level 6 Level 6 (11,520 points)

    Carlos, hi. You didn't actually ask for multiple contexts


    While a home userid and a work userid would work, multiple work userids would I suspect be cumbersome. However, I think you might be able to do what you want with Spaces, which lets you have multiple windows rather than just a single Desktop. You would use a separate space for each project. I haven't used it myself, never having felt the need, but read a bit about it yourself and see if it will meet your needs.

  • Carlos Raniery Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Austin. Indeed working with multiple userids may be complicated.


    Unfortunatelly Spaces don't let you to isolate the state of the applications and files you are using. For example, if I have an specific set of tabs opened in Safari running on Space 1, and then I switch to Space 2 and try to open Safari again, Mac OS will switch back to Space 1. Ok, I can create a new tab in Space 1 and send it to Space 2, but this would be inefficient too. Furthermore, if I close Safari in Space 2, it will be closed in Space 1 too.


    Spaces work very well when you don't mix applications for different working projects. For example, in one project you works with MS Word and in another project you works with Adobe Photoshop. In these examples, you can associate each application with a separate space.


    Well, looks like what I need is something between spaces and multiple user accounts


    Thanks again.

  • Austin Kinsella1 Level 6 Level 6 (11,520 points)

    I suppose you could install Parallels, then create multiple OS X VMs, one for each project ... it would require lots of RAM.

  • Carlos Raniery Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Yeap, this would work too.


    I've decided to use the first approach, create two new users to do this "context changing". I hope to not need of more contexts :-)


    (Hey Apple, please implement that context changing. It would be the first OS to provide this feature.)


    Whats the best way to all users to access the same files? Currenlty I'm sharing these files but I would like to know what would happen if I use the same /Users/ folder for all of the users.

  • Austin Kinsella1 Level 6 Level 6 (11,520 points)

    (Hey Apple) ... use Apple's feedback page!


    Setting multiple users to have the same home folder could be awkward. Better might be to set up a small partition on your hard disk for the data files and give all users access to it.