When I want to switch between windows using Cmd+Tab it does not work with hidden or minimized windows. I can see the icons of these windows in the application switcher but choosing them does nothing. How can I get this to work again?

up vote 64 down vote accepted

This one is a bit tricky :

  • press ⌘ Cmd + ⇥ Tab to show your running apps. Keep holding ⌘ Cmd.

  • press ⇥ Tab until you've selected the app

  • press the ⌥ Option, and let go of the ⌘ Cmd.
    ( You must release ⌘ Cmd after pressing ⌥ Option ! )

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    Thank you, that worked. It's not very intuitive though. Is there a reason why it is necessary to press option to get the app back? – urbaindepuce Dec 1 '13 at 11:24
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    I did not know this trick. A little difficult for the fingers. – Nicolas Barbulesco Dec 1 '13 at 17:11
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    After playing, here are some notes. Contrary to what one could think, the Option trick does not show all windows in the target application. As long as the target app has at least one non-hidden window, the Option trick does nothing. Otherwise, when the target app has one or more hidden window(s), the Option trick shows one, and only one, of these windows. More interesting yet : with apps like the Terminal, or the Activity Monitor, the Option trick will create a new window. In fact, Apple Tab with the Option trick is the equivalent of clicking the target app in the Dock. – Nicolas Barbulesco Dec 17 '13 at 10:58
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    Is there a way to make it "opposite"? – Kyslik Jan 16 '16 at 11:24
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    would be nice if osx could be configured to behave properly here ... osx is falling behind linux more every day – Scott Stensland Jun 11 '17 at 23:27

Use ⌘ Cmd-Tab to cycle to the desired application and then, while still holding down ⌘ Cmd, press the or arrow. This will show the application's windows in Expose. Select the desired window with the arrow keys and press Return to activate it.


  • Found this more recent article useful and on point for this question. macworld.com/article/2048857/… – Ted Nov 11 '16 at 13:57
  • this is true however I fail to see the benefit of apple's approach to not auto show a minimized app's window when the app is selected using command+tab ... linux window managers just do what's most natural ... time to short apple stock – Scott Stensland Jun 11 '17 at 23:26

Try this:

On your Mac,

  1. Navigate to System Preferences
  2. Go to Mission Control
  3. Uncheck "When switching to an application, switch to a Space with open windows for the application"

Try using the cmd+tab now.

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    this works only for not minized windows – M.C. Feb 2 '16 at 17:59
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    This does nothing for me. – brandong Oct 13 '17 at 6:49


tell application "Slack" to reopen (activate)

Or try my app Command-Tab Plus, in addition to proper work with hidden or minimized apps has many convenient features that are not efficiently implemented in the built-in MacOs App's switcher

For example, there were discussed the problems of Mac Os X apps switcher

Restricting Command+tab options to only apps that are in the current space

Show only apps that are in the current space

HyperSwitch Does the trick : https://bahoom.com/hyperswitch

I tested it. It needs to be updated. It's free. When I Cmd+Tab on minimized app it's open!

My symptoms.. CommandTab would toggle the heading bar for each application but only some windows for the application would show up.

The suggestion above: On your Mac,

Navigate to System Preferences Go to Mission Control Uncheck "When switching to an application, switch to a Space with open windows for the application" Try using the CommandTab now.

Was already in place on my Mac. I did the opposite and now CommandTab works perfectly.

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