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?

  • 8
    I just got a Mac, and this whole minimizing shit and not being able to restore that Window from Cmd+Tab—although it is shown within the window switcher—is super illegal UX.
    – Kalaschnik
    Aug 5 '20 at 12:02
  • 1
    @Kalaschnik Totally agree
    – aztack
    Sep 28 '20 at 3:58

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 ! )
    ( You must release ⌘ Cmd before release ⌥ Option ! )

  • 17
    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? Dec 1 '13 at 11:24
  • 14
    I did not know this trick. A little difficult for the fingers. Dec 1 '13 at 17:11
  • 4
    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. Dec 17 '13 at 10:58
  • 8
    Is there a way to make it "opposite"?
    – Kyslik
    Jan 16 '16 at 11:24
  • 12
    would be nice if osx could be configured to behave properly here ... osx is falling behind linux more every day 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
  • 1
    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 Jun 11 '17 at 23:26
  • Doesn't seem to work for me for either hidden or minimised windows. I always get "No Available Windows". I'm on Sierra if it makes any difference.
    – piit79
    Jan 29 '19 at 11:16
  • Pretty nice in combo with left/right arrows after you hit Ctrl+Tab too. Arrows all the way to the window you're seeking. Feb 10 '20 at 15:29
  • 1
    This worked for me for ~8 years but suddenly stopped working today. Now I need to use this awkward approach: apple.stackexchange.com/a/112358/70049 May 8 '20 at 0:23

Majority of the answers are years old. This is a 2021 solution

Use AltTab, it is the exact replica of windows functionality of Alt+ Tab. Takes care of both minimised/maximised window.

It's free and open source.

enter image description here

  • 2
    Thanks, this works perfectly! brew install alt-tab --cask Jan 13 '21 at 10:48
  • 2
    It didn't make a difference here :/ Jun 14 '21 at 12:51
  • 1
    It defaults to a different keyboard shortcut, but you can choose your own to fit your muscle memory.
    – seanf
    Sep 10 '21 at 6:16
  • 3
    Been checking back every year for a "real solution" and seems 2021 is my lucky year. So exciting! Works, and you can disable the thumbnails so it looks more likely the regular version. This is now the correct answer.
    – cchiera
    Oct 25 '21 at 14:10
  • 1
    Heads up: I was expecting it to take over the default alt + tab behavior (and thought it wasn't working when that didn't happen) but discovered you need to change the app's Controls preferences slightly to get that effect. Dec 7 '21 at 17:32

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.

  • 2
    this works only for not minized windows
    – M.C.
    Feb 2 '16 at 17:59
  • 9
    This does nothing for me.
    – MrG
    Oct 13 '17 at 6:49
  • 1
    I was SO hoping this was the answer, but no.
    – ggedde
    Sep 29 '21 at 14:46

Press ⌘ Cmd + H to hide a window instead of minimising it.

  • This is great, yet (on Catalina anyways) as a caveat, it looks like once you hide the windows, they can't be found with the up-arrow after cmd-tab mentioned in another answer. So odd that cmd-M and cmd-H both make the window hide in a completely different way, and are restored in completely different ways! Feb 10 '20 at 15:39
  • I like this solution best. I just have to get in the habit of using command h to hide any windows I don't want up on the screen instead of minimizing them. Too bad there is not a mouse way of doing the Hide... the yellow button only does minimize.
    – Wes
    Oct 28 '20 at 17:20

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!

  • I just looked at the hyperswitch website and one of their "Known issues" is "No option to show minimized windows yet." ... ? I haven't actually tried it though!
    – Wes
    Oct 28 '20 at 17:24
  • On that linked page it says in big letters, known issues, "No option to show minimized windows yet." Aka it doesn't do the one thing people are asking for here. Luckily the other answer AltTab does.
    – cchiera
    Oct 25 '21 at 14:12


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


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.


Like Pirate X mentioned. Alt+Tab works flawlessly. You can even set the key to be Command instead of Option (Alt) and have it work normally but being able to raise minimized windows without having to press alt on the selected window.

It's super easy to install if you have "homebrew" installed:

brew install --cask alt-tab

Or just go to their website: https://alt-tab-macos.netlify.app and download it for manual installation.

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