I frequently have more than one window open for a specific app. For example, I have my Thunderbird mail window, and then a new message is a separate window. When I command-tab through my apps (or use Expose to display all apps) it only shows the app, not the individual windows. If, for example, my new message ends up in the background, the only way I can get it back is to control-click on the Thunderbird dock icon and choose the window from the list. This is a pain when I'm working quickly and don't want to take my hands off the keyboard.

Is there any way I can get all open windows to show with a keyboard shortcut, rather than just the actual apps?


See "Expose". Activation keys are different on different laptops, so find the shortcuts under
System Preferences>Keyboard. On my laptop:

  • F9 shows all windows
  • F10 shows all windows for the active app
  • F11 shows the desktop
  • Thanks. F9 does indeed show all windows. I'll have to train myself to use Expose instead of command-tab (I'm coming to Mac from Linux.) – EmmyS Apr 7 '11 at 18:11
  • Command tab has its purposes too... Don't not-use it. – user588 Apr 7 '11 at 19:43
  • If you have a Track pad, you can also enable the Four Finger swipe to open Expose. It takes a while to get use to, but it's another option depending where your hands are. Coming from a background similar to yours, I haven't quite figured out a way to stay completely away from the mouse. – vcsjones Apr 8 '11 at 2:13

Try typing Fn+F10. If that does not work, try just F10.


Use + to find a desired app.

After that use + ` to find desired windows.

  • That's a good one too! Probably easier for my trained fingers to remember than F9. – EmmyS Apr 7 '11 at 21:37

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