When I Command-Tab to task switch (in both Mavericks and Yosemite), occasionally (maybe 60% of the time) the task switcher will behave as if the Tab button was held down. That is, the task-switcher selection will fly over to the right-most icon. If I mouse-over the app icons, the cursor will continue constantly moving to the right.

I doubt it's a stuck Tab key, because I use the Tab key all the time when coding, navigating Cocoa controls, etc...never have a problem with Tabs being constantly entered. This only ever occurs on Command-Tab.

Any ideas?

  • I'm sorry that I can't offer any help but wanted to let you know that you're not alone with that problem. I also had it with several OS versions and different Macs. Dec 21 '14 at 1:00
  • I've had this problem a ton lately, I believe it's either new or greatly exaggerated in Yosemite. Incredibly annoying.
    – colemanm
    Mar 9 '15 at 20:31
  • same issue here... I have it for a while now and its really annoying. Initially I thought I had a broken bluetooth keyboard, but even a USB keyboard has the same issues. Apr 17 '15 at 18:23
  • I've also got this problem. Mid-2010 macbook pro. Very annoying.
    – Joe Czucha
    May 23 '15 at 21:12
  • I have this. Try disabling BetterTouchTool's special Cmd+Tab features? The thing is that I use the touchpad bindings for it enough that i can't give this up and deal with the issue when I get it. Another idea (which isnt exclusive with that one) is that what's causing this is a race condition where the event for releasing the tab key gets lost. Mashing Tab will usually return control...
    – Steven Lu
    Sep 4 '16 at 2:34

Just had the same issue.

Turns out it is because I've got my mouse in my bag and it's still connected to the bluetooth dongle on the machine. So essentially is the mouse.

As soon as I disconnected the mouse the issue went away.

  • This is a possible cause, but definitely not the only one.
    – octern
    Dec 29 '16 at 16:16

Had the same issue today - almost 6 years later!

Couldn't find any workable solution online. I had already tried restarting and logging into another account with no help.

Finally reached out to the apple support. They got me to do a safe boot (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201262).

The problem wasn't there in safe boot mode. Then, booted back to normal mode - and the problem was gone there as well!


Trying to gather some more information: Are you running multiple monitors when you see this? Do you have any tweaks, like Witch or Secrets, which could be modifying the default behavior?

For what it's worth my 2010 13" MBAir running Yosemite stops at the right-most icon when I hold Command-Tab. Command-` (once the switcher is running) stops at the far left.

  • This happens to me frequently, both on an external monitor with a USB keyboard and with no monitor or keyboard. There are no customizations that would obviously affect this, and the behavior is sporadic.
    – octern
    Dec 29 '16 at 16:18

The cause is most often a second mouse, or mouse-like device (eg Wacom tablet, or 3DConnexion mouse, or trackpad, or playstation controller - with something on it.

Every few months I forget to check - and it's always that. Unplugging the various devices normally sorts it out.

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