I am trying to understand how I could switch back and forth in a productive manner when using a combination of VMware Fusion 7 and OS X El Capitan apps.

The keyboard shortcut that I am used to use thousands of times a day between Mac apps is
cmd+tab. I use it to cycle between apps, and would love to be able to do this to switch to other apps when inside VMware Fusion.

What it currently does when I press cmd+tab from within VMware Fusion is that it will cycle through the windows of the virtual Windows machine, not take me out of the virtual machine and into my Mac apps again.

This is clicked in my Virtual Machine settings:

enter image description here

After looking online for a while, I found this tip, which doesn't work for me. This, although more subsequent, didn't seem to provide a workaround that would allow the user to use cmd+tab to get out of VMware Fusion. This didn't help, and this didn't help either.

I also looked fruitlessly into the Windows 7 Control Panels for a way to disable cycling through windows in Windows with that shortcut, which didn't work.

  • @user3439894 thanks for the edits! OS X is soon to be a discarded terminology and that works retroactively from what I understood Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 18:28
  • OS X is not being discarded for versions 10.8~10.11 and macOS is not being applied retroactively. It is just like when Apple dropped "Mac" from Mac OS X to OS X, versions 10.7 and earlier are Mac OS X. macOS is 10.12 and later. Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 18:29
  • Ok, thanks. Maybe too early to tell? Like when Mac OS 9 was called "Classic" all of a sudden... Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 19:20

2 Answers 2


I had this same issue, which I resolved by enabling mission control (I had disabled it).

defaults write com.apple.dock mcx-expose-disabled -bool FALSE && killall Dock

In the same settings window, just below, is a dropdown menu that lets you choose which of the command-keys should represent the "Windows" key in your VM. The default seems to be both, which breaks all the native Mac shortcuts. Set it to one or the other, and all the usual Mac shortcuts work as long as you use the Command key that you didn't choose to represent the "Windows" key.

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