I know that you can switch tabs with shift cmd [arrow key] in Mac Terminal, but it is painful to reach the arrow key. How can I change the default keybinding?

  • Not quite programming-related enough for my tastes.
    – Dana
    Commented Mar 12, 2009 at 21:00
  • @Dana: It may be: I do not know whether I need to change some rc files such as in the xmodmap case. Commented Mar 12, 2009 at 21:08
  • 4
    Use the Cmd and Shift keys next to the arrow keys.
    – Daniel Beck
    Commented Sep 29, 2011 at 6:24

5 Answers 5


Before Sierra (El Capitan and earlier), the window menu shows a different shortcut key.

  • 24
    In what way does this answer the question? (I know the answer, but I don’t see how this helps anyone who didn’t already know how to customize menu item shortcut keys using System Preferences.)
    – Chris Page
    Commented Jun 14, 2012 at 23:29
  • 1
    @ChrisPage Those are defaults. I haven't set up any special shortcut keys, and they are present in mine. Commented Jan 31, 2013 at 5:33
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    @BenMordecai So, if this answer had a written answer (rather than just a screenshot), it would read “by default there are already command keys that don’t use the arrow keys, so you don’t need to change the default keybinding”? I ask because the question appears to be “How can I change the default keybinding?”, which isn’t mentioned in this, the currently accepted answer.
    – Chris Page
    Commented Feb 1, 2013 at 0:44
  • 3
    I just learned that you can change keybindings that appear on menus, and I've been using OS X for about 3 years. I think that step is not trivial.
    – Jan Segre
    Commented Aug 14, 2014 at 5:01
  • 3
    The screenshot didn't help me att all. In fact it misled me. On top of that, I just cannot find any way to change the shortcut key for the Next and Previous go to tabs keys of the Terminal. Some one would give additional details on where to configure this change ?
    – Stephane
    Commented Mar 23, 2015 at 11:57

You can change key bindings for almost all Cocoa apps in System Preferences, including Terminal.app.

Go to System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > App Shortcuts, then add a new shortcut for Terminal (located in /Applications/Utilities).

  • I'll try that, thanks! Using the default shortcuts is very cumbersome on a Macbook without mouse.
    – user30033
    Commented Mar 17, 2010 at 10:00
  • 1
    Where? I don't see anything under System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts.
    – Ian Dunn
    Commented May 2, 2015 at 0:16
  • 7
    Click on "App Shortcuts" then click on the "+" button. In the Application drop-down box, scroll all the way down and select "Other..." and go to "/Applications/Utilities" folder and select Terminal. Then type "Show Next Tab" or whichever menu shortcut you want to replace. Then type the keyboard shortcut you want. And then click "Add".
    – jojo
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 19:49
  • 2
    It seems you can't utilise all the keys this way. For example I can't use PageUp / PageDown for shortcuts defined here.
    – Chris
    Commented Apr 15, 2016 at 23:54
  • 3
    This should be the accepted answer. Thank you for this.
    – Damon
    Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 10:47

1: Install SIMBL (plugin enabler): http://www.culater.net/software/SIMBL/SIMBL.php

2: Install the TerminalTabSwitching.bundle

git clone https://github.com/dabeeeenster/terminaltabswitching
cp -r terminaltabswitching/TerminalTabSwitching.bundle "/Library/Application Support/SIMBL/Plugins"

3: Restart the Terminal app, and enjoy Cmd+[0-9] tab-switching.

FYI: If something like plugin is not verified in terminal version # (a number) appears when you open your terminal again, maybe the following information can help.

(1) Open

/Library/Application\ Support/SIMBL/Plugins/Terminal/TerminalTabSwitching.bundle/Contents/Info.plist

using your favorite text editor under sudo.

(2) Search For <key>MaxBundleVersion</key>.

(3) Change <string>280</string> at next line to your terminal version number or higher like <string>300</string>. Save.

(4) Quit terminal and reopen it. Hopefully that prompt would disappear and you can use Cmd+[0:9] for tab switching.

  • guns's answer above is spot on. this answer is too complicated
    – angry kiwi
    Commented Jul 14, 2019 at 8:27

cmd brace will also switch tabs.


If you don't mind downloading new software, I recommend iTerm 2: http://www.iterm2.com/#/section/home

It not only allows rebinding keys almost arbitrarily plus fast switching between tabs with cmd+TabNumber (or your favorite meta key), but quite a few other nifty features as well.

(I would post a screen shot, but I'm new around here).

  • Down-voted because it doesn’t really answer the question, and there’s nothing stopping the user from customizing the shortcuts in Terminal using System Preferences, the usual answer for this type of question.
    – Chris Page
    Commented Feb 1, 2013 at 0:47

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