For some reason I can't use (Apple Meta Key / Apple Key) and Backtick aka ` to cycle through Windows anymore...

Trouble is I'm not sure when it quit working so I'm not sure if I created a conflict, but I've tried deleting prefs and searched around and can't seem to find anything on how to fix it.

It still works in Finder, and probably other apps, but not Safari and a few other apps (like my PDF reader...)

Any suggestions?


This has bugged me since i got my MacBook but have just managed to fix it by doing this:

"going to System Prefs, Keyboard & Mouse, Keyboard Shortcuts, Keyboard Navigation, and click on Move focus to next wondow in active application. There may be other shortcuts that you can restore there, too." taken from From http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1776080:

Then change the shortcut to apple key + `

Hope this helps as I know it's such a pain not being able to quickly switch between windows, particularly in Safari.

  • 7
    NOTE - This feature even if enabled in your system preferences may still not work even if you have opened multiple windows of same application in maximised mode !
    – poorva
    Nov 3 '16 at 5:15
  • Still good in Mojave, now it's: Prefs -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts -> Keyboard. Thanks! Sep 24 '19 at 14:36
  • NOTE 2 - this happens for "Full Screen" mode (View -> Enter Full Screen), in addition to "maximized" mode (green maximized button?) per @poorva's comment.
    – GraehamF
    May 14 '20 at 20:56
  • @GraehamF could you please elaborate on this. is it possible to switch windows in full screen mode
    – DockYard
    Aug 25 '21 at 19:46
  • Wow, thanks for this answer. The problem was super confusing because it wasn't just not working, it did work in some apps (i.e. Finder, or Intellij IDEs) but not in others i.e. Chrome or Evernote.
    – Pavel
    Dec 19 '21 at 22:09

For those who have an international keyboard, the command might be assigned to a key combination that is not produced by the Cmd + ' (i.e. the button to the left from key "1"). This even if the original key combination looks correct on the screen. To fix this go to System Preferences -> Keyboard and reassign the "Move focus to next window" to Cmd + '. This on Mojave. Took a while to figure out what was wrong...


Use Cmd + Esc instead. Verified with TextEdit app.


If you activate the shortcut as @JAP said and still not working sometimes, try cmd + shift + ` to start cycling backwards.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.