I was wondering why there is a discrepancy between the apps and windows that appear in Mission Control, versus those that show up in the application switcher (CMD+TAB). Mission Control always seem to show more apps and windows than the switcher, and offers the "complete" overlook on what's really running.

Here is an example of two windows that are "caught" by Mission Control, but not the application switcher.

For example, the macoS Fonts window:

Or the menu of Google's Backup & Sync Finder "Share" extension:

  1. Is there any logic and/or reasoning behind this discrepancy?

  2. Is there any way to configure what will appear, and where?

  3. Ideally, I would like all apps and windows (at the very least, those caught by Mission Control) to appear in the application switcher as well. How can I achieve this?


1 Answer 1


Only applications that are present in the Dock are shown in the Switcher (⌘ cmd+⇥ tab). More specifically the apps that do not have the LSUIElement key in their Info.plist.

Theoretically you can remove that key from the apps, that you want to see in the Switcher, but this can break the Code Signing.

The examples you've shown are not even the apps, but Panels (NSPanel). They are part of the app that is in focus (when you click on them, the current app in the menu does not change).

3rd party app switchers are discussed there on AskDifferent.

If you want to check if a window is a Panel, you can use Accessibility Inspector app like so:

enter image description here

  • I see. Thanks for the explanation! Is there any 3rd party app switcher that catches all windows and all panels? And, just for the sake of learning, is OneNote's "Insert Link" menu (⌘+K) is also considered a panel? Here's a pic
    – voronoi
    Mar 22, 2018 at 10:21
  • 1
    @voronoi I don't have OneNote, but it looks for me, that it is a Panel. For the 3rd party apps you can check this question: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/2718/… Mar 22, 2018 at 10:25

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .