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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 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
up vote 308 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.


Cmd` works only if all windows are on the same workspace (comment @thias)

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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
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
I don't think your answer works for the latest versions of Mac OS X. I'm using 10.9.3 myself with norwegian keyboard layout. I'm not able to add new shortcuts under Keyboard. I can under App shortcuts, however that does not work with the given text «Move focus to the next window in application». – Andreas Åkre Solberg Jun 30 '14 at 12:07

command backtick

+ `

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Yes, on a US keyboard. On my non-US-keyboard it is not so obvious, since backtick is located on a combined 'accent' key. So to get a backtick I need to press Shift-accent. So switching to the next window is Cmd-Shift-Accent. Now, how do I switch to the previous window? Cmd-Shift-Shift-Accent? – Vidar Ramdal Mar 3 at 9:30

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:

    1. View same App windows across All Workspaces -> Control + Down Arrow
    2. Then select with arrow keys or click the app window you want.
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Yes. This should be on top. This concept of windows vs apps vs workspaces is confusing. – Peter Feb 10 at 14:42

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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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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I'm on Yosemite and Ctrl + tab was only one working for me, thank you for that. But it doesn't seem to work for terminal instances.... Still trying to find out what to do there. – eis Oct 2 '15 at 8:12

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? – user495470 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

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protected by bwDraco Nov 15 '15 at 9:31

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