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I open a lot of separate windows of Chrome on my Mac. However, juggling between two separate windows of Chrome doesn't work with Command+tab. When I press command+tab, only one instance of Chrome can be seen although there are many others in the dock.

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11 Answers 11

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Applications on Mac OS X are generally only started once, and multiple windows belong to the same process. Internally, there can be additional processes (like for Chrome, or even Safari now), but there is one process responsible for the UI (e.g. the single Dock icon). Workarounds exist, but they are not well known, easy to use, and unreliable.

By clicking a Dock icon or selecting an entry in the application switcher (Cmd-Tab), you focus that application and all its windows.

To switch to a different window of an application, you can press the keyboard shortcut configured in System Preferences » Keyboard » Keyboard Shortcuts » Keyboard & Text Input:

enter image description here

To go in the reverse direction, additionally press Shift.


Another solution for switching between applications and/or windows is Exposé, now in Lion part of Mission Control. You can configure shortcuts for viewing all applications' windows or the current application's windows in *System Preferences » Mission Control:

enter image description here

When invoking the Application windows hotkey (or using the trackpad gesture configured in System Preferences » Trackpad » More Gestures » App Exposé, it presents the application windows side by side, with minimized windows shown smaller below:

enter image description here


There are also third party applications that make window switching easier for users coming from other operating systems, like Witch.

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    ⌘-` (command-backquote) used to work for me in Chrome, and still does in other applications like Terminal. But for some reason, in the latest version of chrome, I have to press ^⌘` (command-ctrl-backquote). Very annoying, as I use this function in both Chrome and Terminal, and it is impossible (that is, impractically difficult) to make a single key combo that works in both. – Jameson Quinn Dec 30 '12 at 19:31
  • Mavericks and chrome 33.0.1750.146 -- ⌘-` is not working. – Aaron McMillin Mar 14 '14 at 15:16
  • @AaronMcMillin Mavericks and Chrome Version 33.0.1750.149 -- ⌘-` is working. Did you check System Preferences to make sure this is the configured shortcut for this? – Daniel Beck Mar 14 '14 at 18:34
  • It is on in Preferences. Actually it doesn't work for Terminal.app either, but ⌘-Left and ⌘-Right do. – Aaron McMillin Mar 14 '14 at 20:36
  • @AaronMcMillin Are you pressing the wrong key? Depending on your keyboard layout, it could act as a regular key or a deadkey. If you press that key alone, then e, do you get è or `e? If the former, it's the wrong key (or keyboard layout). – Daniel Beck Mar 14 '14 at 21:09
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Cmd + ` is the shortcut for juggling windows on Mac.

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  • Still relevant today. – sshakir Jul 11 '14 at 6:15
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    This is not relevant if you're using spaces as Cmd + ` only works if the windows are in the same space. As it stands, you have to get to a chrome window, and then cycle through all open Chrome Windows. Being able to limit Cmd + Tab to a single space would be helpful, but that's not an option. – GregB Jul 22 '14 at 18:58
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    Still terrible UX experience :( Is this OSX or chrome problem? It is sooooooooooo annoying. – Srneczek Jun 8 '16 at 11:26
  • It's an OSX problem, @Srneczek. Not that Ubuntu Unity is much better at it, given how much Ubuntu has copied Mac OS. – Dan Dascalescu Oct 12 '16 at 22:28
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Mac apps generally only have one instance, even if they have many separate document windows open. To use the keyboard to switch between windows of the same app, use Command+` (backtick, above the tab key, at least on my US-Qwerty keyboard layout).

I'm not sure what to make of your comment that "there are many others in the dock". Did you make multiple copies of "Google Chrome.app" so you can launch multiple instances, and that's what you see in the dock? It's possible that although you have many copies of Chrome in the dock, maybe you've only actually launched a single instance. Or did you minimize some Chrome windows to the dock, and it's the minimized window icons that you see in the dock that you're thinking are separate instances of Chrome? I think it's probably this.

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  • <kbd>⌘</kbd>+<kbd>`</kbd> only switches among windows in the current space. If you have Chrome windows in other spaces (Ctrl+left/right to find out), you have to switch to each space first. – Dan Dascalescu Oct 12 '16 at 22:29
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I really recommend HyperSwitch. Free little app for switch between windows previews of the same application

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I'm also new to mac and was searching for best solution for switching between windows instead of apps. Specially if they are minimized. It was almost impossible to dig them out. Like they are buried in the dock. I even tried Witch.

In the end for me best/easiest to remember/most logical way is:

  • Cmd-Tab + Down Arrow

Meaning:

  • Switch to your app with Cmd-Tab
  • Keep holding Cmd
  • Press Down Arrow

You will get into expose and all your application windows will be drawn on screen - even minimized ones - with small images below big ones. Now just select your window using arrows and press Enter You can also use arrows in Cmd-Tab while holding Cmd

Why is it most logical - because on Cmd-Tab menu you imagine applications are horizontally and windows are vertically - like on PSP menu. And when u get to expose u even see what is big is active window, what is small is minimized - that why it is so difficult to get to it - it is buried under running windows :)

Even though having hide and minimize doesn't make sense, apple should remove one of them, and fix alt tab - on minimized window - it should come up automatically :)

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Macbook Pro 2020 user here. None of these tips worked, but you know what did?

To switch between two Chrome windows in Macbook with keyboard, I tried: Cmd + Shift + ` and tadah! Works like a charm.

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  • Oh, and I'm using Finnish keyboard. Might be essential info 😅 – Tiia Jan 21 at 12:18
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Swedish keyboard: cmd+<. This should also work for nearly every other application for OS X.

If you have another localisation you could try cmd+"left-bottom-most" key. Hopefully the location is the same.

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Mavericks and Chrome AND an external keyboard:

need to use -\ key (to the left of the z) instead of -`

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To toggle between windows in both Chrome and Safari, Cmd ` works if you don't have your windows in full screen mode.

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    It also doesn't work if you have windows in other spaces, and this answer was already given several times several years earlier. – Dan Dascalescu Oct 12 '16 at 22:30
  • Not sure why this answer was downvoted, because it's true: cmd+` only works when the chrome windows are NOT full screen. Kind of useless for me. – Mark Nov 19 '19 at 13:05
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To juggle between two chrome windows in Mac, press the following keys together ⌘ ~

Command key(⌘) and Tilde (~) together

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Try Alt-Tab, super easy and useful

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