The default behaviour of ⌘⇥ is roughly the following:

  1. Switch to the most recently used app.
  2. Bring all windows of that application (in the current space) to the foreground.
  3. Give the most recent window focus.
  4. Is there no window of that app on the current space? Switch to most recent used space with that app.

Say I have two windows of the same application open. One is running full screen in a separate Space, while the other is on the Desktop Space with other application windows. Take for example the following spaces:

  1. Desktop: Safari + Mail Window 1
  2. Full Screen: Mail Window 2

So now I'm working in Mail Window 2 (Space 2), ⌘⇥ brings me to Safari (Space 1). However ⌘⇥ again and I'm taken to Mail Window 1 (Space 1), whereas I would've wanted to go back to Mail Window 2 (Space 2). In order to go back to Mail Window 2 by keyboard, I have to go through all spaces using ⌃→ or ⌃1..⌃9, which is cumbersome when working with more than 2 spaces.

Is there a keyboard shortcut I'm missing, or a way to change how ⌘⇥ could work for my use case?

  • I would love to have something like this.
    – Oion Akif
    Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 17:30
  • I'm experienced the same thing. This is really annoying.
    – stevo
    Commented Oct 24, 2023 at 0:13
  • I'm currently trying AltTab alt-tab-macos.netlify.app
    – stevo
    Commented Oct 24, 2023 at 1:03
  • I have experienced the same thing for years, on many MacOS versions. Except on separate spaces, they are on separate screens (my laptop's built-in screen and a separate one). It would be really nice to have a fix for this. Commented Jan 5 at 1:40

1 Answer 1


There is the default shortcut ` (that's a backtick [or ` for QWERTZ keyboard layouts] to toggle focus between application windows.

I don't think it's possible to adjust the behaviour of so it meets your criteria.

  • The keyboard shortcut ⌘` doesn't switch to other spaces, so that doesn't work.
    – bouke
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 17:25
  • You are right. What about ⌘↓ to show available application windows and then ← ENTER or → ENTER to switch to the one you need?
    – frdmn
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 17:36

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