I often use the Cmd+Tab shortcut to switch between different applications (for example: Xcode and Google Chrome), but is there a shortcut to switch between different windows of the same application (for example, from one window in Google Chrome, to another)?

  • 1
    Thank you for the answers so far (and for moving the question to the correct forum). I found the "backtick key", but the "command + backtick" command didn't work. I forgot to mention my computer is a Macbook with a "japanese keys layout" : the backtick is located on the top of the "@" key, to the immediate right of the "P" key. To type a backtick I have to press "shift+@" so I tried "Command+Shift+@" but it didn't work. I think there might be a way to enable some shortcuts on a japanese Mac but I cannot find how.
    – wip
    Commented Jun 19, 2011 at 15:23
  • You don't have "instances of the same application". You have windows.
    – Daniel Beck
    Commented Jun 20, 2011 at 6:34
  • 1
    There is a duplicate of this QA on Ask Different, which also includes other keyboard language layouts - for info apple.stackexchange.com/questions/193937/…
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jan 1, 2018 at 15:18
  • 1
    @wip: In Japanese layout keyboard, default is "Command + F1" Commented Jan 14, 2021 at 8:06
  • @TheAnhNguyen It doesn't work
    – newguy
    Commented Sep 15, 2022 at 11:46

10 Answers 10


The default shortcut is Cmd` (that's a backtick).

You can always change that shortcut if the given one does not work out for you. Go to  → System Settings (or System Preferences for older macOS versions) → Keyboard → Keyboard Shortcuts → Keyboard.

Here, assign a custom combination to Keyboard » Move focus to next window (under OS X 10.9 and above)

Above, I chose Cmd<.

This will allow you to toggle between the open windows of any application.


  • Cmd` works only if all windows are on the same workspace (comment @thias).
  • Some applications may intercept your chosen shortcut, so you might have to find another one that is unique.
  • 16
    Not only you can change the keyboard shortcut, but the dialog will give the most correct answer for the OP and hishers keyboard locale. For example + < is the system default in Finnish locale that I'm using and "command backtick" answers wouldn't work. Commented Jun 20, 2011 at 12:16
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    I wish I understand what Apple was thinking there. The same justification used for making all the other shortcuts configurable could be used to toward making that one configurable as well. Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 6:41
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    is there anything that works between different workspaces (cmd+backtick works only if all windows are on the same workspace)
    – thias
    Commented May 5, 2013 at 13:36
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    I don't think your answer works for the latest versions of Mac OS X. I'm using 10.9.3 myself with norwegian keyboard layout. I'm not able to add new shortcuts under Keyboard. I can under App shortcuts, however that does not work with the given text «Move focus to the next window in application». Commented Jun 30, 2014 at 12:07
  • 3
    @DanDascalescu exactly! Apparently you have to cmd' + tab let off the keys and then cmd' + ``` to cycle through each instance of your choice. This is crazy. Commented Dec 24, 2016 at 16:16

command backtick

+ `

  • 4
    Yes, on a US keyboard. On my non-US-keyboard it is not so obvious, since backtick is located on a combined 'accent' key. So to get a backtick I need to press Shift-accent. So switching to the next window is Cmd-Shift-Accent. Now, how do I switch to the previous window? Cmd-Shift-Shift-Accent? Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 9:30
  • 1
    @VidarRamdal Even if you had an US keyboard, it wouldn't be possible to move to the previous window, because (as you can see in the settings by yourself) there is no shortcut for "move to previous window".
    – winklerrr
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 20:10
  • Help me please: the second key What is (Right Side of P letter, Right Side of 0 "Zero")?
    – joseluisbz
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 22:15
  • 1
    NOTE: It doesn't work for windows running in full screen
    – VVK
    Commented Mar 28, 2020 at 16:46

This is what I found on my default US english keyboard setting.

  1. Toggle between Different Apps -> Command + Tab

  2. Toggle between Same App in Same Workspace -> Command + `

  3. Toggle between Same App across different Workspace:

    1. View same App windows across All Workspaces -> Control + Down Arrow
    2. Then select with arrow keys or click the app window you want.
  • 2
    Yes. This should be on top. This concept of windows vs apps vs workspaces is confusing.
    – Peter
    Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 14:42
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    For #3, after cntrl + down you can hit tab to toggle applications, then use arrow keys to select the window you want.
    – OIS
    Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 15:21
  • @OIS that is really cool. Thank you for sharing. I upvoted this answer instead of the selected answer because it covers shifting between same app in different workspaces. Although it does take 1 + N key combos, it's still better than not being able to switch. I wonder if we could get this to just one key combo to go to previous instance of same app... Commented Sep 5, 2019 at 15:59
  • If you want to toggle between same of different apps, including minimized and hidden windows, Contexts is the right tool for that.
    – meeshine_x
    Commented May 7, 2020 at 9:29
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    Should clarify that option 3 is for non-full screen apps in different workspaces. There's no way to cycle through full screen instances of the same app.
    – RCross
    Commented Nov 11, 2020 at 11:19

I'm on Mavericks and I was looking for a keyboard shortcut to quickly switch between tabs in Chrome. Cmd +` didn't work for me, although I made sure it was correctly setup in System Preferences → Keyboard → Keyboard Shortcuts. What I found is that Ctrl + Tab works! So for me it's Cmd + Tab to switch between applications, and Ctrl + Tab to switch between the same application's windows, try this if other suggested solutions don't work.

  • I'm on Yosemite and Ctrl + tab was only one working for me, thank you for that. But it doesn't seem to work for terminal instances.... Still trying to find out what to do there.
    – eis
    Commented Oct 2, 2015 at 8:12
  • Can update 4 years later; I think newer MacOS' use control + tab now. Seems more intuitive.
    – Aryaman
    Commented Dec 11, 2018 at 16:50
  • 1
    Not by default it doesn't. Ctrl + Tab performs whatever app-specific action is assigned, e.g. in Chrome it switches tabs, in Visual Studio Code it launches the action prompt, etc.
    – RCross
    Commented Nov 11, 2020 at 11:23

So I have found that sometimes certain applications do not want to cycle through the different open windows using Cmd+Tab or Cmd+' - VMware is one example, especially when one of the windows has been minimized to the dock. So what I have found is using expose to view all windows helps - there is a mouse gesture for this which is a four finger clinch I think - or F3.
Then you can select which window you want to view.

Hope this helps!


Press ^ + to show all open applications

Press ^ + to show all open instances of the current applciation

(it's not perfect but I found this better than the cmd + ` way, also if you have apps open full screen use ^ + left or right)


I believe command + option + ` change the tab between one app windows

  • The answer “command + backtick” has been given many times already.  Does it work better when you add the “option” key? Commented Jun 26, 2019 at 2:05
  • This is exactly what works for me on macOs mojave. “command + backtick” only switches between two windows. with option, it goes throw all windows of the same application
    – MasterMind
    Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 21:33
  • Weird that I had to come this far down to find the answer I actually wanted. If I'm in a program with two fullscreen instances and I want to switch between them, this is the only thing that does exactly what I want. Commented Oct 21, 2021 at 17:46
  • @Scott-СлаваУкраїні any luck? slava ukraini
    – Nikos
    Commented Jul 31, 2023 at 16:08

On my Macbook Air, with OSX Lion, to switch application windows:



Funnily enough, the option 'Move focus to next window in application' has gone from System Prefs → Keyboard → Keyboard and text input. I just played around with various keys until I found the right one!

  • 3
    "Move focus to next window in application" was just renamed to "Move focus to next window" in Lion. ⌘F6? What locale or keyboard layout do you use?
    – Lri
    Commented Oct 28, 2011 at 5:39
  • Hooooooorayyyy thank you! I couldn't do this in Mountain Lion. It turns out I thought it didn't work, because I had the same key bound to the two window switch shortcuts, and even though the first one was disabled (un-checked), it prevented the other one from working.
    – user30033
    Commented Sep 16, 2012 at 15:50

On my Macbook Pro with a german keyboard layout and language setting it's

CMD< by default to "Move focus to the next window in application"

  • 1
    hm, this is not the case for me. this shortcut doesn't work Commented Dec 2, 2021 at 18:26
  • I believe this has changed for macOS 12.
    – normanius
    Commented Jul 13, 2022 at 15:11
  • i am running mac 12.6 and it sitill works. If not feel free to rebind "Move focus to the next window in application"
    – Andi
    Commented Feb 12, 2023 at 22:57

In macOS 13.x Ventura, this is where the setting is located. In the System Settings, choose Keyboard in the left-hand pane. Then, click the Keyboard Shortcuts… button in the right-hand pane. That opens the following pop-up window, where again, you need to choose Keyboard in the left-hand pane. In the example shown, I have manually set the shortcut for Move to next window to Command + "<":

Setting for "Move focus to next window" in macOS Ventura

  • that opens settings
    – Nikos
    Commented Jul 31, 2023 at 15:37
  • I have now edited the answer to clarify what I wanted to illustrate.
    – Otto G
    Commented Aug 1, 2023 at 16:48

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