For example, in the Keyboard preferences window in System Preferences -> Keyboard, there's two tabs (or at least the equivalent for Windows) called Keyboard and Keyboard Shortcuts. Is there a hotkey to switch between these two ?

  • You can tab to the bar and use the arrow keys to select the tab you want (hit space or wait a second and it will swap to it). Other than that, I have found OSX terribly lacking in keyboard shortcut possibilities.
    – Kevin
    Jun 20, 2013 at 3:05
  • Better example, I'm in the Get Info window of a media file in iTunes, and I want to switch between 'Summary', 'Info', 'Video', 'Sorting', 'Options', 'Lyrics' and 'Artwork' with a keystroke. What do you call those things ? Because apparently there's a lot of ambiguity out there with the word 'Tabs' (I'm looking at you Lenwood) Jun 26, 2013 at 22:32

5 Answers 5


Here are a couple of shortcuts that may be helpful.

  • Command + Tab = switch between applications
  • Command + ~ = switch between windows of an application
  • CTRL + Tab = move forward through tabs (in same window)
  • CTRL + Shift + Tab = move backward through tabs (in same window)
  • See my example above in the comments under the original question. None of the keys mentioned in this answer work for switching between tabs in an OS window (Ctrl+(Shift+)Tab will work in Chrome tabs, but not OS window tabs) Jun 26, 2013 at 22:33
  • Wow, that's a really good question. I'm not sure there's a keyboard shortcut to navigate between those tabs/windows/panes. Here's a list of all OS X keyboard shortcuts, I tried all of the ones that I could think of & came up with nothing. I tried a few other searches as well. If you find the answer please post back, I'm kinda curious about this now, too.
    – Lenwood
    Jun 27, 2013 at 16:04
  • God, I should have checked this before. May 7, 2022 at 15:30

My personal favorite is to hold Command + Shift and then use [ to flip left through tabs and ] to flip right.

  • 2
    This is so much easier than CTRL + Tab and CTRL + Shift + Tab. Thanks! Nov 25, 2018 at 16:51
  • Unfortunately this only works if the cursor is not in a text area.
    – v3nt
    Feb 3, 2019 at 13:32
  • 1
    sure wish windows had this one
    – taxilian
    Nov 23, 2019 at 23:02

I finally found the answer. You have to hit Command + [number of desired tab]. e.g. Command+1 takes you to the first 'tab', Command+2 the second, etc etc.

  • This is not always the case for every mac apps. Some apps support this behavior (e.g., Google Chrome and major browsers) but many other apps do not and they instead use these shortcut keys for UI layout options.
    – elquimista
    Nov 6, 2020 at 2:30

Option (or Alt) ⌥ + Command (or Cmd) ⌘ + (left or right) arrow key

for changing tabs in chrome in MacOS.

  • Welcome to SuperUser! This is not what the author of the question wanted to do, please read the question and existing answers carefully before answering a question. You find help on how to write good answers here superuser.com/help/how-to-answer Jan 18, 2022 at 20:57

In Firefox on macOS:

  • Ctrl + PageUp and Ctrl + PageDown to switch tabs, and PageUp can be simulated with Fn + Up;
  • Command + 1 for first tab, etc; and
  • Command + 9 for last tab.

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.