When I have two applications open side-by-side in the same space, I'd like to be able to swap between them quickly with the keyboard.

I can use Command+Tab, but often I land on an application in a different space, and it moves me to that space.

Is there a similar shortcut which limits the list of applications to the current space?

(I'm using OSX Snow Leopard.)

  • Could you update your details? "when I have two applications open side-by-side" would better read "when I have two windows open side-by-side" based on the top two answers. Aug 20, 2015 at 14:11

3 Answers 3


Move focus to active or next window (⌃F4). It cycles through visible windows (not applications) on the current space.

I've assigned it to ⌥⇥ myself, and assigned ⌥T to what ⌥⇥ would do normally: d=~/Library/KeyBindings; mkdir -p $d; echo $'{\n\t"~t" = insertTabIgnoringFieldEditor:;\n}' > $d/DefaultKeyBinding.dict.

  • 1
    This is very close to what I want, and good enough to do the job 90% of the time. :) For those struggling to decipher ⌃F4, it means "Control-Fn-F4" (as I discovered by double-clicking the shortcut in the window shown above and hovering over the text). Oct 26, 2011 at 14:30
  • Somehow it doesn't work in certain cases. For me it doesn't work when I move from, say spaceB(3 windows) to spaceA(2 windows) In this case when I try to switch windows in spaceA, it moves back to spaceA. I'm not sure why, but it is really annoying. Like @NathanLong says it works 90% of the time though.
    – Crocode
    Jul 23, 2014 at 21:56
  • Yes, I have same problem here that ^F4 will just jump between spaces.
    – vancewang
    Jul 29, 2018 at 17:53

I don't know of any keyboard shortcuts; but consider the following program.


  • I had the very same problem, and this is the best solution; comparatively, Ctrl+F4 is suboptimal, since it doesn't show any list of applications.
    – Marcus
    Sep 27, 2013 at 8:01

If you go to System Preferences, Mission Control and then untick the second box ("When switching to an application, switch to a Space with open windows for that application") that should fix it I think.

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