How to Use OS X Mail Fullscreen

OS X chell in Console.app
Flickr/blakespot

Take OS X Mail full screen to read, write and manage email undisturbed.

Is It Good to See More of the World?

Bigger screens are better because one can see more at the same time on them. Seeing more at the same time is good because… well, is it good?

Does it help your writing that you can see a video right next to your text (what measly words have been wrung from your floorcloth brain)? Do the sheets spread better and compute faster with a system monitor blinking for comfort in their back? Do you ace your email inbox and race right through replies because you also saccade with sports scores zipping by at the top?

Maybe concentrated effort, thought and, yes, even glance can accomplish more faster? It is worth a try at least. The distractions likely will still be there or, if need be, new ones will be found, and making OS X Mail fill the whole screen is easy.

Not only can you read mail focussed on your inbox and nothing else, you can also compose messages there—and in more ways than one.

Use OS X Mail Fullscreen

To take OS X Mail full screen:

  1. Press Control-Command-F or click the full screen button in OS X Mail’s title bar.
    • You can take most OS X Mail windows fullscreen—the main window, messages you have opened in their own window and messages you are composing.

To turn off full screen mode and return any OS X Mail window to its normal state:

  1. Press Control-Command-F.
    • ​You can also press the green full screen button in the title bar.
      1. To reveal the title bar, move the mouse cursor to the screen's top edge.

Minimize a Full-Screen OS X Mail Composition Window

To move out of the way a full-screen email composition window and access the OS X Mail window behind it:

  1. Click anywhere outside the composition window.
    • Note this works with messages you started composing from a full-screen main OS X Mail window. If you took a single composition window fullscreen, you cannot minimize it.
    • If you start another new message or reply, it will appear as a tab in the existing message composition window.
    • Take the whole arrangement off the full screen, and the drafts become individual windows.

To bring back the full-screen composition window:

  1. Click the title bar at the bottom.
    • Its name will be the subject of the message you are composing or, if the Subject line is empty, New Message.
    • Message tabs will show in the title bar.

(Updated October 2015, tested with OS X Mail 9)