Here's my problem: I have an older Macbook Pro (late 2007) running 10.6.6. I was able to switch between an application's active window set using the keys CMD + < or CMD + >.

For example, I could cycle through Finder's open windows, or Chrome's different windows, etc.

Both have a German keyboard.

Now on my new Macbook Pro, this doesn't work anymore. The combination doesn't do anything, except for letting me hear the "bonk" sound.

How can I get this behavior of cycling through windows back?

5 Answers 5


Open System Preferences » Keyboard » Keyboard Shortcuts » Keyboard and Text Input. Look for Move focus to next window in application and change if necessary. enter image description here

The reverse direction is when you additionally press Shift AFAIK.

  • 1
    Is there a way not to just cycle between windows but to switch between two which were most frequently focused?
    – zigomir
    Aug 8, 2013 at 7:57
  • On Sierra this is Preferences -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts -> Keyboard -> Move focus to next window (defaulted to ⌘F1) Aug 30, 2017 at 1:27

This does not seem to work in 10.7.5 when using a non-US (I am using Swedish) keyboard layout (on my MBP). Cycle backwards (⌘⇧`) works (but only when the focus is not a text input field - tested in Chrome).

Anyway, you can change this setting to ⌘< in the same location as described in the previous answer. The problem seem to be that in many non-US layouts ` is a dead key that you typically combine with other characters such as e è and i ì while in the US layout you have to press ⌥` to make it a dead key that can be combined with other characters.

  • Yep, back when I asked this question I didn't know the default was on a dead key, and I had "invented" my own combination. And yes, the default on a dead key doesn't make sense for international layouts.
    – slhck
    Dec 25, 2012 at 13:07

For international keyboards, it may make more sense to use Alt/option+Tab instead. Especially for previous Windows users like myself. =)


command + tab will jump to last open app/window. to go to the previous app in the UI, type command + (reverse apostrophe (if that's what it's called)) -- AFAIK it's not possible to type the key in this interface as it creates a quote for the following sentence like this, but it's the same key as tilde, below the esc key in the upper left. if you hold command after tapping tab or ` to select from open apps either with pointer or by pressing tab or (reverse apostrophe) multiple times until you get to your desired app. once the app is chosen, release the command key, will jump to the screen that has the selected app.

I use the 4 finger swipe up or f3 to show all open screens, windows and apps in mission control (also in the dock by default). mission control reveals other screens. you can carefully click your desired window from the app in the GUI. Good luck!


Cmd + ` works generally. But it works consistently and properly only if the windows of the app are in the same Space. Across desktops it doesnt work.

If you have multiple diplays, in all probability, windows in other displays are on different desktops.

The solution is: Go to System Preferences>Mission Control and Uncheck "Displays have separate Spaces".

Then cycling between windows of the same app with Cmd+` works quite well.

  • Your answer is not improving the accepted answer
    – yass
    May 7, 2017 at 17:02

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