In OS X Mavericks (10.9) I have discovered a very annoying bug.

To reproduce:

  1. Have an external monitor connected to your Mac
  2. Open two windows of the same application (e.g Chrome), and place one window on your Mac and the other on the external display
  3. Click in the window on your external display to bring focus to it
  4. ⌘ Cmd+Tab ⇥ to another app (e.g Code editor)
  5. ⌘ Cmd+Tab ⇥ back to the app
  6. Focus is now in the window on your Mac, and not on the external display (where the focus originally was). This means you have to click in the window to bring focus to it again.

Practically this means, I can no longer have a window open on my Mac while working with the same app on the external display. How can I solve this?

  • 2
    Did you post your issue at bugreport.apple.com ? What is your exact problem: do you want to switch between apps without using mouse and using only keyboard shorcuts ?
    – lauhub
    Commented Nov 8, 2013 at 18:12

5 Answers 5


I can't help with this but I can confirm that this is one of many issues with multi screen multi window applications on mavericks. As he says, when you have 2 windows of the same app open on different screen, it will always give focus to the one on the primary monitor when you cmd+tab away and back to the app. This makes it rather annoying for development work when you are switching between a browser and editor regularly.


I was having the same issue. The issue went away after I disabled all the checkboxes under the "Mission Control" system preference pane.

I don't use Mission Control so this solution worked fine for me. If you use Mission Control you can probably narrow down which one of the checkboxes changes this specific behavior (I'm guessing "Displays have separate Spaces").


Just when you switching between applications with Cmd + Tab, when you release CMD, keep hold down Alt


I just noticed this same bug when I added a second monitor to my MBP.

Upgrading to OSX El Capitan (Beta) seems to have fixed it. (Yay!)


faced this on Monterey with Chrome, set checkbox "Group windows by application" at Mission Control

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