I'm used to switching tabs with cmd+x where x is a number and takes me to tab x in firefox and pretty much every other browser I've ever used. I like safari's speed and would like to try it a bit, but the cmd+x shortcut is burned in my brain and every time I use safari I end up screwing up. I'd like to know if its possible to change this behavior, because this simple thing is a stopper for me.

  • In addition, the current (6.0.3) behaviour of replacing whatever one had on the browser window is highly annoying. I often press cmd-1/2/3 in accident (i.e. while taking screen shots using shift-cmd-3/4). These keys REALLY should be reassigned by Apple. Bad feature. (I'm not the only one: discussions.apple.com/thread/3464021?start=0&tstart=0)
    – akauppi
    Apr 3 '13 at 8:38
  • 5
    One more thing: the fact that "Show Previous Tab" and "Show Next Tab" are present in the Safari menu means that you can assign any shortcuts for changing tabs in System Preferences (Keyboard->Shortcuts)
    – Sergei
    Jun 23 '14 at 10:34
  • I'm putting a bounty on this answer how to do this with Safari v9
    – bmike
    Aug 25 '15 at 19:35
  • As of OS X El Capitan, this feature is now enabled by default in Safari. Oct 10 '15 at 2:36

12 Answers 12


Check SafariTabSwitching.

  • This works perfectly for me. Safari 5.1.2/Lion.
    – waffl
    May 8 '12 at 7:33
  • Works for Safari 6.0.3/Mountain Lion :D
    – akauppi
    Apr 3 '13 at 8:45
  • Works great in Safari 7/Mavericks too.
    – xaralis
    Nov 6 '13 at 12:21
  • Updated for Safari 8 (10538.35.8) / Yosemite (10.10, 14A238x) too.
    – Tim
    Jun 3 '14 at 19:22

In case you are coming from Chrome and want to use

cmd+[0-9] for switching tabs (instead of cycling through your preset top sites) take a look at:


Safari Tab Switching is a Safari SIMBL plugin which allow switching between tabs using Cmd+1-9.


Safari Version 9.0.2 (El Capitan) has native support for this:

enter image description here

  • 1
    This is much nicer than Ctrl+Tab! Aug 25 '14 at 7:31
  • 2
    This is exactly what I was looking for. I just updated to Yosemite and I was hoping to replace Chrome with Safari and cmd + 0-9 was one of the shortcuts I was missing. Thanks! Oct 21 '14 at 6:31
  • This did not work for me. I run safari 8.0.4 and Even though installation was successful, the cmd + [0-9] shortcut does not work
    – gprasant
    Apr 9 '15 at 22:28
  • @gprasant I'm running Version 8.0.4 too. Perhaps have a look at the issue tracker on github?
    – wpp
    Apr 10 '15 at 10:39
  • 1
    UPDATE: Looking at this issue - github.com/rs/SafariTabSwitching/issues/27 - helped me fix the problem. It now works for me on Safari 8.0.4
    – gprasant
    Apr 10 '15 at 15:20


Ctrl+Tab and Ctrl+Shift+Tab

  • It seems you have answered your own question. That's a good way to share your knowledge, as said in Stack Exchange FAQs. Jul 22 '15 at 7:19

In El Capitan, OSX 10.11, this has been included as a new feature of Safari Version 9.0 (11601.1.50).

Go to Preferences > Tabs > Use ⌘-1 through ⌘-9 to switch tabs

  • 2
    – Ian C.
    Aug 25 '15 at 16:29
  • Why was this awarded 50 points?
    – voices
    Sep 14 '15 at 23:00
  • Yeah, why not A MILLION?!! Oct 1 '15 at 8:36
  • Now I wish Finder tab can use the same shortcut!
    – huggie
    Nov 25 '15 at 1:50

In most native OS X applications, the key presses Cmd-Shift-[ and Cmd-Shift-] will cycle left and right through tabs, respectively. Safari understands these.

If you use something like BetterTouchTool, then you can assign gestures (such as a three-finger swipe left or right) to these key presses, and get tab cycling across most of OS X.

  • I go with these because they stack nicely with history.back and history.forward (Cmd-[ and Cmd-] respectively). Cursor keys often get stuck on input fields when attempting to navigate history.
    – Sergei
    Jun 23 '14 at 9:49
  • To go to the previous tab, press ⌘ Command ⇧ Shift ← Left
  • To go to the next tab, press ⌘ Command ⇧ Shift → Right

Traveller’s note : These keyboards equivalents may be reversed in a right-to-left environment.


To go to the next tab
⎇ Control+Tab or
⇧ Shift+⌘ Command+] or
⇧ Shift+⌘ Command+→ Right

To go to the previous tab
⎇ Control+⇧ Shift+Tab or
⇧ Shift+⌘ Command+[ or
⇧ Shift+⌘ Command+← Left

  • 1
    this answer is the most complete
    – henry
    Aug 12 '15 at 15:09
  • That's what I need.
    – samthui7
    Oct 21 '15 at 6:53

Safari 9.0, released today for 10.9 Mavericks and 10.10 Yosemite, along side with the 10.11 El Capitan release, has introduced this natively.

enter image description here

There are two options. If checked, ⌘-1 through ⌘-9 will switch to tab 1 through 9, respectfully. This will change the original behavior of mapping to the favorites bar bookmark 1 through 9. Those will be changed to Command-Option-1 through Command-Option-9.

If unchecked, while it does not say it, the behavior is reversed. Command-Number will still be the favorites bar bookmark, while Command-Option-Number will be the tab. This flipping of behavior matches the Command-Click and Command-Option click behavior for opening a link.

It's undocumented.


What about setting bookmarks 0-9 to be bookmarklets that change window tabs?

  • Looks like my only option, so far... I'll try that.
    – biggahed
    Sep 17 '10 at 3:10
  • how can this be done?
    – johnk
    Dec 5 '10 at 16:18
  • 1
    @yanis - if there's something specific you want to know, your best bet is to open a new question.
    – Dori
    Dec 6 '10 at 2:28

I personally like the keyboard shortcut used in Chrome and Opera: Option+Cmd+(left/right arrow keys). This can be assigned in System Preferences-->Keyboard-->Shortcuts-->App Shortcuts. Press the plus button and add a pair for Safari with the command names "Show [Previous/Next] Tab" and then type the key sequences you want to use. Pretty handy. Good luck!

  • I also wanted to have chrome like shortcut but wasn't able to find the right command name for the shortcut. How did you find out the command? Is there a list provided by Apple? Jul 1 '20 at 23:50

control-tab the simplest way


Yes ctrl + (0-9) by using this shortcut you can navigate across multiple tabs in windows

  • Could you explain how control + 0 is different than command + 0 ?
    – bmike
    Aug 7 '14 at 15:12
  • By "in windows" venu means "in Windows" -- It is, in this context, an entirely pointless and unhelpful suggestion. Ctrl for Windows, Cmd for OSX.
    – Thromordyn
    Aug 25 '14 at 22:27
  • This suggestion is incorrect on OS X. Control-digits do nothing in Safari, and Command-digits open items in the Favorites bar.
    – Chris Page
    Nov 5 '14 at 0:53

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