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How do I toggle back to the last tab used in Chrome on Mac? Ctrl-Tab and Ctrl-Shift-Tab navigates the tabs in order. But I want to switch back and forth between two tabs similar to how how Cmd-Tab switches between the last two apps. There's a way to do this on Firefox but is there a solution for Chrome?

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6 Answers 6

up vote 24 down vote accepted

Chrome has no native keyboard shortcut for this, but there's an extension you can use:

Recent Tabs (Chrome Web Store)


  • You can specify any keyboard shortcut you like (default: Ctrl + Q).

  • You can configure it to

    • show a list of the most recent tabs (much like Alt + Tab).

    • toggle between the last 2 tabs.

    whenever you press the keyboard shortcut.

Screenshot screenshot

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Any way this can override Ctrl+Tab? –  Joe Aug 20 '12 at 1:50
Just using an extension, no. The extensions web store page says You may ask why didn't I use Ctrl+Tab instead, that's cause Chrome does now allow extensions to map this shortcut key. If you insist in this shortcut, you could assign a different key to it and do a remapping with AutoHotkey. –  Dennis Aug 20 '12 at 2:04
Thanks. +1 for AutoHotKey. Shame Chrome has us jumping through hoops for such basic functionality. –  Joe Aug 20 '12 at 12:18
Brilliant extension. Given the OS-like qualities Google are building into Chrome, this is functionality that badly needs to be integrated into the brower out-of-the-box. I've mapped to Alt-q which is close enough to Alt-tab to feel natural. –  Charles Roper Sep 26 '13 at 11:08

Recent Tabs has a serious problem of interfering with keyboard events handling. It slows down the whole browser key handling. For example, after enabling the extension, go visit http://fullscreenmario.com and try to control Mario with keyboards. FPS goes rapidly down to 5 or 6.

Not a problem, but a limitation with the extension is it can't move between chrome://* pages or blank page.

There is a working alternative : Toggle Switch Recent Last Tabs. It doesn't slow down the browser. It can switch between any pages.

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  Chrome on Windows (at least version 30) allows to use a Ctrl+Tab keyboard shortcut for the extensions, and some extensions do use this functionality.
  The following might work on Mac as well:

  1. Install an extension which switches to last viewed tab, like FLST Chrome (remembers only one tab into the past) or Ctrl+Tab MRU (requires a bit longer Ctrl+Tab press).
  2. Go to chrome://extensions page, click on 'Keyboard shortcuts' link at the very bottom and set Ctrl+Tab as keyboard shortcut for the extension you installed in step 1
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Ctrl+Tab MRU is the closest option to what I'm used to in Opera and FF –  KalenGi Oct 11 '14 at 8:09
How does Chrome support Ctrl+Tab? Whenever I try to set that as a shortcut for an extension in the extension tab, Chrome switches to the next tab. From the Ctrl-Tab MRU-Extension: It seems that CHROME HAS DISABLED the possibility to use Ctrl+Tab as a shortcut :-( I'll be looking into this and if we get a workaround for this –  flu Oct 17 '14 at 9:57

I really wanted this feature myself, I have tried most existing extensions already available but none of them worked properly.

I went ahead and tried my hand at developing one myself and it seems to be working for me. Figured it might help others too.

Here is the link: CLUT: Cycle Last Used Tabs

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I cannot thank you enough! –  Keyslinger Jul 20 '14 at 20:13

Here is the AutoHotKey script to remap the Ctrl+Tab shortcut with CLUT (from Harshay answer) only with Chrome:

; Chrome context
#IfWinActive ahk_class Chrome_WidgetWin_1
^Tab::Send !{w}
+^Tab::Send !{s}

; Back to global context

It does not emulate exactly the real Ctrl+Tab behavior: Ctrl+Tab will switch only between the two last tabs, and Ctrl+Shift+Tab will switch through the whole history.

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I like to toggle between two tabs when filling out forms or comparing pages, etc. As a work around to there being no hot hey for the last used tab, I drag the two tabs into their own window and use the Command+Option+right arrow to go back and forth quickly.

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