For a while now, every time that I try to switch an application using cmd+tab when I stay in the target application for more than a couple of milliseconds, when I lift my fingers, a new instance of the target app is launched.

I've been looking everywhere how to change this behavior, but it has been in vain. Originally I thought it was an emacs bug but then I noticed it also happened in chrome.

  • The app switcher is part of the Dock, have you made any changes to the dock's prefs file, or used any utilities that modify the dock? Also when you say another instance, you mean you'll get two different Chrome apps opening at the same time in the Dock? That shouldn't be possible.
    – l008com
    Mar 20, 2018 at 9:17
  • No, I get a new window for chrome, it is easier to distinguish the issue on emacs where you get a new frame with a different pid.
    – Sambatyon
    Mar 20, 2018 at 9:32
  • Thanks @I008com, I realized I had hyperswitch installed and there was an option to open the default window if the program is open but has no windows, apparently it is quite buggy.
    – Sambatyon
    Mar 20, 2018 at 12:44
  • Are you using HyperSwitch? Jun 27, 2018 at 20:41

1 Answer 1


Could it be that you are pressing Option at the same time?

There's a little known feature that can be used to open new windows in (some) apps from the macOS app switcher.

1.Cmd+Tab to the app of your choice
2. Keep Cmd held
3. Press and release Option
4. Release Tab


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