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I often use the Cmd+Tab shortcut to switch between different applications (for example: Xcode and Google Chrome), but is there a shortcut to switch between different windows of the same application (for example, from one window in Google Chrome, to another)?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jun 19 '11 at 14:53

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Thank you for the answers so far (and for moving the question to the correct forum). I found the "backtick key", but the "command + backtick" command didn't work. I forgot to mention my computer is a Macbook with a "japanese keys layout" : the backtick is located on the top of the "@" key, to the immediate right of the "P" key. To type a backtick I have to press "shift+@" so I tried "Command+Shift+@" but it didn't work. I think there might be a way to enable some shortcuts on a japanese Mac but I cannot find how. –  wil Jun 19 '11 at 15:23
You don't have "instances of the same application". You have windows. –  Daniel Beck Jun 20 '11 at 6:34

6 Answers 6

up vote 162 down vote accepted

The default shortcut is Cmd` (that's a backtick).

You can always change that shortcut if the given one does not work out for you. Go to System Preferences → Keyboard → Keyboard Shortcuts.

Here, assign a custom combination to

  • Keyboard » Move focus to next window (under OS X 10.9 and above)

    Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Keyboard » Move focus to the next window in application (until OS X 10.8)

    Keyboard Shortcuts

This will allow you to toggle between the open windows of any application.

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Not only you can change the keyboard shortcut, but the dialog will give the most correct answer for the OP and hishers keyboard locale. For example + < is the system default in Finnish locale that I'm using and "command backtick" answers wouldn't work. –  koiyu Jun 20 '11 at 12:16
@koiyu Nice to know that! Yeah, with the different layouts around, it's always best to look what'd the default setting. –  slhck Jun 20 '11 at 13:50
Thank you ! That solved my problem. The default shortcut was Command+F1 on my computer. –  wil Jun 26 '11 at 17:47
"You can always change that shortcut if the given one does not work out for you." Oddly enough, this doesn't seem to work for the shortcut the OP used as an example (switching between apps with Cmd+Tab). That one appears to be unchangeable. –  BHSPitMonkey Mar 2 '13 at 20:22
is there anything that works between different workspaces (cmd+backtick works only if all windows are on the same workspace) –  thias May 5 '13 at 13:36

command backtick

+ `

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This is what i found on my default US english keyboard setting.

1. Toggle between Different Apps -> Command + Tab

2. Toggle between Same App in Same Workspace -> Command + `

3. Toggle between Same App across different Workspace :-
3.1 View same App windows across All Workspaces -> Ctr + downArrow
3.2 than select with arrow keys or click the app window you want.

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So I have found that sometimes certain applications do not want to cycle through the different open windows using Cmd+Tab or Cmd+' - VMware is one example, especially when one of the windows has been minimized to the dock. So what I have found is using expose to view all windows helps - there is a mouse gesture for this which is a four finger clinch I think - or F3.
Then you can select which window you want to view.

Hope this helps!

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On my Macbook Air, with OSX Lion, to switch application windows:



Funnily enough, the option 'Move focus to next window in application' has gone from System Prefs → Keyboard → Keyboard and text input. I just played around with various keys until I found the right one!

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"Move focus to next window in application" was just renamed to "Move focus to next window" in Lion. ⌘F6? What locale or keyboard layout do you use? –  ؘؘؘؘ Oct 28 '11 at 5:39
Hooooooorayyyy thank you! I couldn't do this in Mountain Lion. It turns out I thought it didn't work, because I had the same key bound to the two window switch shortcuts, and even though the first one was disabled (un-checked), it prevented the other one from working. –  user30033 Sep 16 '12 at 15:50

I'm on Mavericks and I was looking for a keyboard shortcut to quickly switch between tabs in Chrome. Cmd +` didn't work for me, although I made sure it was correctly setup in System Preferences → Keyboard → Keyboard Shortcuts. What I found is that Ctrl + Tab works! So for me it's Cmd + Tab to switch between applications, and Ctrl + Tab to switch between the same application's windows, try this if other suggested solutions don't work.

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