When my new Macbook Air (13" mid-2011, Lion) wakes from sleep (by opening the lid, clicking the mouse or pressing the space bar), it usually wakes to the last application I was using, then changes applications as if I had pressed alt-tab.

  1. Has anyone else observed this phenomenon and
  2. Does anyone know what could be causing it
  • 1. I have never seen this on my 2007 MacBook. 2. Stuck key?
    – dan8394
    Commented Aug 10, 2011 at 4:48
  • 1
    Is your clicking or typing (to wake) causing the app to switch? Have you tried developing a habit of waking the Mac with the Shift key, which should have no such effect? Oh yeah, also, simply opening the lid wakes it up so I bet with 95% certainty that your click or keyboard presses are being registered as meaningful input, not waking your MBA! Commented Aug 12, 2011 at 18:20
  • When I resume by opening the lid (no keypress/trackpad), I still get the application switch.
    – Daniel
    Commented Aug 15, 2011 at 4:09
  • This has sometimes happened to me when closing applications, not when waking the computer from sleep, but I believe that the underlying "problem" is the same. Let me explain. I use Spaces quite a lot, and the understood behavior when closing an app on a certain space is to remain there; however some apps would "steal" the focus and throw me on another space. Last two apps I remember who had this problem were Adium and Sparrow, though now that problem is gone. I don't know if the problem is some specific configuration on the users part, a glitch in the OS or a bug in the app. Sorry for not prov
    – nikolovski
    Commented Aug 21, 2011 at 9:21
  • I can't believe this still isn't fixed! Happens on my brand new MBA too.
    – Emil
    Commented Aug 18, 2012 at 20:59

2 Answers 2


This is related to the System Preference for when it prompts you for a password when it wakes up. Change it to never, and it goes away (less secure) or always (more secure, but a PITA). Here's the link that helped me:


  • Awesome! This does seem to be the problem. I don't care for the solution, but it does work.
    – Daniel
    Commented Jul 5, 2012 at 23:45
  • Bah. The problem seems to be back (less frequent, but still present) despite this fix.
    – Daniel
    Commented Dec 31, 2012 at 7:27

Repair your disk permission.

Reboot your system then press the ALT key. Select the Recovery partition and then use Disk Utility to repair permission.

I think permissions repair better when you're not using the volume that you're mounted on.

  • FWIW, it's been doing this since day one when I first booted it in factory condition, but I'll give it a try.
    – Daniel
    Commented Sep 18, 2011 at 23:34
  • Didn't work. :-(
    – Daniel
    Commented Sep 22, 2011 at 4:28

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