I am experiencing an odd bug that I haven't seen anywhere else.

When I use Cmd+Tab, it seems to stick on whatever application it lands on when I release Tab. It should open that application, but instead the app switcher remains active.

Then, I can either hit Enter and it will open that app (like it should have when I released Tab), or I can press Tab once more and it will move to the next app then open that app.

This happen every single time, UNLESS I perform the keystroke VERY quickly.

I submitted a bug report to Apple a couple months ago, and (to no surprise) I haven't heard back.

This has happened since I upgraded to Mavericks on release day.

I have tried various third-party applications, but Apple has made it impossible now to relinquish the keystroke from the system.

I'm at my wit's end, any ideas would be appreciated.

  • Does it work in a new user account?
    – grg
    Commented Jan 3, 2014 at 23:15
  • What's the radar and/or steps to reproduce the bug? You could enter things into openradar.appspot.com and we can help reproduce, narrow down, etc...
    – bmike
    Commented Jan 4, 2014 at 0:50
  • I can't reproduce it on another computer, and I don't see how open radar works. I just tried the guest account and everything works fine, but on my account it messes up every time
    – avtraino
    Commented Jan 5, 2014 at 5:11
  • 1
    @avtraino -- I was curious on Radar as well; this seems to summarize: arstechnica.com/apple/2008/11/… (sorry, can't help with it or your bug!) Commented Jan 6, 2014 at 19:48
  • 1
    I'm pretty sure that the code for this is in the Dock process.
    – 0942v8653
    Commented Jan 14, 2014 at 17:04

1 Answer 1


The command ⌘+tab ⇥ app switcher lives in Dock.app, as many other things do, like the desktop background, menu bar, Spaces, Exposé, and most obviously the Dock. So to fix this the easiest way would be to simply clear the Dock preferences using this Terminal (/Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app) command:

defaults delete com.apple.dock; killall Dock

For anyone not familiar with the defaults command, it is used to set or remove preferences, most of the time hidden ones. This line simply uses the defaults command to delete the preferences associated with the bundle ID of com.apple.dock, which is just a unique identifier for Dock.app. If you want to be a little more technical and see if you can salvage your Dock's app order and Stacks, try running

defaults read com.apple.dock

and looking for anything suspicious or corrupted, and then use defaults delete on the offending key.

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