Switch Between Different Windows in Same App on Mac with a Handy Shortcut

Apr 17, 2023 - 10 Comments

Switch between windows of the same Mac app

Do you ever have a bunch of different windows open in the same Mac app, and you’re wanting to quickly toggle between them with a keyboard shortcut? That’s exactly what this trick is for, and it can really boost your productivity in multi-windowed Mac apps.

Maybe you’ve got a bunch of different Safari or Chrome windows open, each with sets of tabs for work, productivity, leisure, personal, etc, or maybe you have a bunch of Terminal windows open, or documents open in Pages, or you want to switch between multiple images open in Photoshop, Pixelmator, or Preview, whatever the use case, this keyboard shortcut is for you.

Switch between different windows in the same Mac app with Command+`

The keyboard shortcut to remember for switching between windows of the same application is Command+`

Switching between different windows in the same app on Mac with a keyboard shortcut

` is also the ~ tilde key, and you can find it on US keyboards under ESC or above Tab.

Each time you press Command+` you will switch to the next window available in the active application.

You can also go toggle between different windows of the same app, but backwards, by using Shift+Command+`

If you’re familiar with the fantastically useful Command+T application switcher keyboard shortcut, this should be a nice addition to your productivity repertoire, since it’s a similar keyboard shortcut, but rather than switching between active apps, you switch between windows in the active app.

If you like keyboard shortcuts for productivity, you may also appreciate allowing the Tab key to switch between dialog boxes on the Mac too, which can further boost your navigation.

The Command+` window switching shortcut works in every version of MacOS and Mac OS X, so whether you’re using Ventura, Monterey, or keeping it classic with Snow Leopard still, you’ll find the keystroke works the same.


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Posted by: Jamie Cuevas in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Shawn says:

    Just got a new MBP with Sonoma and I’ve noticed that the CMD+` cycles through 2 or 3 windows super rapidly to the point where it’s no longer useful. It’s cycling way to quickly and not one at a time.

    Anybody else?

  2. ibiza says:

    I have noticed that Cmd+` used to work, but now (perhaps since new OS) it only works once you have moved the window for that application slightly…. i.e. mouse over title bar and move the window then the key combo works.

    However, I do seem to be able to switch between windows of same app without moving the window by using Cmd+ Shift + `

  3. lilliputian says:

    Frustratingly, window cycling no longer loops in Ventura once you reach the last window, regardless of which direction you are cycling. From Reddit, it seems that this was introduced in the Ventura betas and was never changed back.

    (Meanwhile, Cmd-Tab still loops fine switching between different applications.)

  4. Daniel says:

    If that key combination isn’t convenient or isn’t working for you, you can always change the hotkey combination to something else using Keyboard Preferences.

    You can easily remap another Hot-Key to move focus to the next and previous windows. (The above article really should have mentioned that, as different locales, and older keyboards will behave differently)

  5. Martinus says:

    On my Norwegian keyboard, the ` is beside the backspace key, and I additionally have to use shift to reach it.
    So with the default shortcuts this is hard to use.

  6. ken says:

    On my iMac Magic Keyboard, Command+` does nothing.

    • Chance says:

      With a US keyboard layout, Command+` switches windows. I have used this feature for a long time.

      I assume those having trouble have different keyboard layouts or different regions.

  7. Bogdan says:

    On my keyboard, I have to press Alt+` to get `and Alt+Shift+` to get ~
    So, Command+`doesn’t do anything.

    • Bogdan says:

      The shortcut can be changed in System Settings – Keyboard – Keyboard Shortcuts – Keyboard – Move focus to next window
      (before Ventura in System Preferences – Keyboard – Shortcuts – Keyboard – Move focus to next window)

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