I'm looking for a method w/ AppleScript to select/focus a specific window of an application without actually doing an "activate" which brings all windows to the front.

Here's what I have so far:

tell application "Google Chrome"
    set windowTitle to title of first window whose title contains "whatever"
end tell
tell application "System Events" to tell process "Google Chrome"
    click menu item windowTitle of menu 1 of menu bar item "Window" of menu bar 1
end tell
tell application "Google Chrome" to activate    

The problem is the "activate" in the last line. That brings everything to the front, but I just want the one window.

1 Answer 1


You're right that the activate command raises all windows. The open shell command only raises one window though:

tell application "Google Chrome" to set index of window 1 where title contains "whatever" to 1
delay 0.05
do shell script "open -a Google\\ Chrome"
  • Ah, this is great. It comes close, unfortunately, if Chrome is already focused the "whatever" window only flashes to the front and the currently focused window wins out. If I use the "click menu item" technique along w/ the open -a, it seems to work, but that requires accessibility. Any ideas to get around that? Jan 20, 2014 at 5:14
  • 1
    Just adding a "delay 0.05" in between your two lines seems to work perfectly. Thanks again! Jan 20, 2014 at 5:23
  • I couldn't reproduce it, but you could also try tell application "System Events" to tell process "Google Chrome" to perform action "AXRaise" of window 1.
    – Lri
    Jan 21, 2014 at 6:02
  • 3
    I'm getting: execution error: The variable title is not defined. (-2753)
    – redolent
    Mar 24, 2016 at 20:31
  • 4
    Re: execution error. Change title to name.
    – vaughan
    May 17, 2017 at 13:46

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