I was wondering, is it possible to switch between two open tabs using a single shortcut, i.e. if x+y is the shortcut, then pressing it switches between two adjacent tabs. Much like Alt+Tab in Windows.

Please list shortcuts of all popular browsers, thanks!

  • I assume you have Windows 7 with IE8 ?
    – r0ca
    Mar 10, 2010 at 16:02
  • yes..I use Win 7 but use IE 8 is used seldomly!
    – detj
    Mar 27, 2011 at 12:41
  • This kind of shortcut would come really handy, when you are reading something on 1 tab and writing almost the same thing in your own words..probably editing some of the content as you go about it. ctrl+tab & ctrl+shift+tab does the job only if the two tabs are touching each other, if they are distant..its no use
    – detj
    Mar 27, 2011 at 12:44

9 Answers 9


For Firefox the add-on Tab Utilities Lite can be used to get the required behaviour:

Ctrl-Tab to navigate tabs in most recently used order, Ctrl-Left/Right Arrow in sequencial order


Ctrl+Shift+Tab: to reverse cycle order.

And for the nine first tabs you could use Ctrl+1, Ctrl+2, etc.

It works in Firefox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer.

  • 2
    In FireFox under Linux, it seems to be Alt rather than Ctrl for the numeric selection. Also, Alt (or Ctrl) -9 goes to the last tab rather than tab 9.
    – Nerdfest
    Mar 10, 2010 at 18:44

Here is a list of hotkey whe working with tabs in IE8:

The following table describes the keyboard shortcuts that are available when working with tabs.

  • Open links in a new tab in the background: CTRL while clicking the link.
  • Open links in a new tab in the foreground: CTRL+SHIFT while clicking the link.
  • Open a new tab in the foreground: CTRL+T or double-click an empty space on the tab row.
  • Open a copy the current tab in a new tab in Internet Explorer 8: CTRL+K
  • Switch between tabs: CTRL+TAB to move forward or CTRL+SHIFT+TAB to move backward and CTRL+1-2-3-4-5 to switch from one to another
  • Close the current tab (or the current window when there are no open tabs): CTRL+W or ALT+F4
  • Open a new tab in the foreground from the Address bar: ALT+ENTER
  • Switch to a specific tab number: CTRL+n (where n is a number between 1 and 8)
  • Switch to the last tab: CTRL+9
  • Close all tabs except for the one you're viewing: CTRL+ALT+F4
  • Open Quick Tabs (thumbnail view): CTRL+Q



In Opera, no change or shortcut is needed. In all versions of Opera Ctrl + TAB switches between two tabs. The tabs don't even have to be adjacent; it is the last two shown. This works much like ALT + TAB to switch between Windows applications.

(The shortcuts for cycling through the tabs in Opera were 1 and 2 in older versions. It is a little more complicated by default in newer versions, but I am using these old shortcuts.)

  • yes..this is exactly what I'm looking for! I don't use Opera that much. Is there any similar thing for Firefox, Chrome or Safari??
    – detj
    Mar 11, 2010 at 5:17
  • @detj: yes, see my other answer, superuser.com/questions/118326/… Mar 11, 2010 at 10:56
  • @detj you should update your question because it's not clear that you want this specific feature. They are many firefox extensions to achieve this and that should exist for chrome too...
    – fluxtendu
    Mar 12, 2010 at 7:00

As others have stated, you can use Ctrl-Tab and Ctrl-Shift-Tab to move forwards and backwards through the tabs on most browsers.

Another idea, which I find much easier on the fingers, and works in Firefox and I think Chrome (not sure of others) is to use Ctrl-PgUp, and Ctrl-PgDn to go through the list of tabs... you just need to ensure your tabs are next to each other for it to work (just like with the Tab combos).


Use LastTab in Firefox. I really miss this in Chrome as it is the fastest browser right now. The only reason I'm using Firefox is because Chrome doesn't have this feature/addon.


In Opera and Vivaldi by default

  • Ctrl+Tab cycles between recently used tabs. Press Shift to reverse the direction
  • Ctrl+Page Up/Down moves to the previous/next tab

So just use Ctrl+Tab. No changes are needed

In Firefox by default Ctrl+Tab switches to the next tab, but you can configure it to switch to the last opened tab like Opera by toggling Ctrl+Tab cycles through tabs in recently used order in options. After that Ctrl+Page Up/Down can still be used to move to the previous/next tab like before

Firefox tab option

Old Firefox versions don't have this checkbox and you have to change browser.ctrlTab.previews in about:config to true manually


In Chrome there's no option like that and you must use some extensions like Recent Tabs, CLUT: Cycle Last Used Tabs or Ctrl+Tab MRU for that purpose

  • 1
    This answer is better than the marked answer, which recommended using a plugin to do the same thing. Sep 9, 2019 at 17:44

To navigate between consecutive tabs in opera press Ctrl + F6 keys. It's very simple and convenient to navigate between consecrating tabs in the series of tabs.


For Safari you can install the CronTab extension to cycle through tabs sorted based on the time they are last active. It also opens a pop-up of the list of sorted tabs.

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