As far as I can tell, Command-backtick (⌘-`) behaviour in OSX 10.9 works as follows:

Given a stack of windows for the current application 1 2 3 4 5 6 in order of most to least recently used:

  • Do it once: switch to window 2 (for the current application).
  • Do it again: switch to window 3.

However, if you click on window 2 before doing Command-` for the second time, window 1 gets the focus instead of window 3.

This behaviour differs from that of Command-Tab, which seems to always work as though the new application's current window had been clicked on, unless you hold Command in between presses of Tab. While you continue to hold Command, a little overlay window is displayed to give you a visual representation of which applications are available and are getting the focus.

Is there a way to make Command-` work in a manner similar to that of Command-Tab? I.E. so that the window stack will be reordered when, and only when, Command is released? I find it distracting to have to a) remember whether or not I've clicked on the window I'm looking at and b) scrunch a finger down to engage the Shift key.


2 Answers 2


In MacOS 10.13 (High Sierra) I cannot get the Cmd-` to work at all unless the application itself has a menu command to cycle through windows. If it does, it probably uses that key code; if it doesn't have a key code but has a menu item, it's easy to add the key code in System->Keyboard->Shortcuts. If it does not have a menu for that, e.g. Safari, then I've found no way to cycle through windows. it does have a Next Tab command.


Use Witch https://manytricks.com/witch/ as suggested by timothymh. Toggle between all application windows and forget about Command-backtick altogether.

  • 1
    I ended up settling on contexts.co instead of Witch to workaround this awful OSX UI bug.
    – Galax
    Commented Mar 26, 2018 at 3:23
  • Unfortunately contexts.co seems to have been abandoned. Commented Jul 4, 2020 at 19:54
  • @certainlyakey maybe not- there was a new version in March 2021: contexts.co/whats-new
    – Galax
    Commented Jun 2, 2021 at 20:06
  • yes, but this tweet confirms they won't be adding new features anymore. Commented Jun 3, 2021 at 7:46
  • @Galax hahaha, and I just spend about 20 hours specifically implementing this function on Win11 exactly how it works on a Mac because I like and miss it so much
    – phazei
    Commented Nov 17, 2022 at 0:10

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