Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I would like to use Ctrl+Tab as the shortcut to switch applications in Mac OS X, instead of Cmd+Tab. Is there any way to switch the keyboard shortcut for this?

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Yes, there are many ways.

The easiest for what you are doing would be to use the open-source program DoubleCommand.

Here is a view of the interface:

enter image description here

As you can see it is extremely customizable. If that doens't fulfill your needs, there is also KeyRemap4Macbook.

There is also a shareware program called LiteSwitchX that completely replaces the switcher with an even cooler and more customizable one that I will eventually get around to installing.

I hope this helps.

You can also use a combination of two programs: Application Enhancer (by Unsanity, free) and PullTab (open source and free). PullTab ONLY removes the shortcut from use so it depends on exactly what you're looking for. Application Enhancer (APE as it's commonly called) also has WindowShadeX and MenuMaster, which I recommend at least checking out.

I'm going to continue looking for a non-third party way to disable this, I may edit it again.


Also, press cmd+` (command + backtick: backtick is directly under Escape, with the tilde) to cycle through the current application's windows rather than cycling through each application.

One more thing:

When you are in the application switcher, you can also press Q and/or H and the currently selected application will be quitted or hidden.

share|improve this answer
I'm so sad, I had hoped at least someone would upvote me. I'm going back to SO to practice my markdown. :) – Brandon Dec 20 '10 at 20:00
I have bad experience with DoubleCommand - it is very confusing, the moment it applies settings is unclear. Eventually it has blocked all my input and I had to reboot in order to be able to type. – Denis Kniazhev Feb 1 '14 at 8:52

There's no way to do this. Besides, Ctrl-Tab is already used in some applications, like Safari, to e.g. switch between tabs.

You can use Witch for a custom application switcher and use Ctrl-Tab for that.

In System Preferences » Keyboard » Keyboard » Modifier Keys, you can switch positions of the keys. This will however change all keyboard shortcuts (e.g. Cmd-C for copy effectively becomes Ctrl-C).

alt text

share|improve this answer has some great info about changing the default key bindings for Cocoa applications. Unfortunately I could not figure out if there is an action method for the switcher.

share|improve this answer

You could use a private.xml like this with KeyRemap4MacBook:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
    <autogen>__KeyToKey__ KeyCode::TAB, VK_CONTROL | ModifierFlag::NONE, KeyCode::TAB, ModifierFlag::COMMAND_L</autogen>
    <autogen>__KeyToKey__ KeyCode::TAB, VK_CONTROL | VK_SHIFT | ModifierFlag::NONE, , KeyCode::TAB, ModifierFlag::COMMAND_L | ModifierFlag::SHIFT_L</autogen>
share|improve this answer

Command + Tab in Mac similiar to Command + Tab in windows You can use KeyRemap4Macbook for activation this change:

Command + Tab to Command + Tab + Alt

Cmd+Tab to Cmd+Tab+alt

Your life more easy :)

share|improve this answer
Is this explaining the same thing Lri did? (But in a much worse way) – MoonSire Nov 14 '13 at 13:31

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.