I use tabs in terminal.app quite a lot, and often close and open new tabs as I run different tasks. I'm very used to switching through tabs using the same shortcut as I use in Chrome and textmate, just hitting cmd + number.

Usually these shortcuts are relative to the tab order. Cmd + 1 is always the first tab, cmd + 2 the second, cmd + 3 the third, etc. For some reason though, recently I've noticed if I open a new tab (e.g 3rd tab) and close the second tab, the shortcut for the 3rd tab remains cmd + 3?

It's even weird if I'm on the first tab and open a new tab. It wedges it between the first and last tab (assuming I had 2 open and opened a 3rd), but the shortcut for the new tab is cmd + 3, even though it's in second place?

Is this new? Can I reset this somehow to be relative to tab order? This is really confusing and unintuitive.

  • Sounds like a bug in High Sierra, and not the only one that appeared in Terminal at that time, and still persists. Try downloading iTerm. It’ll blow you away. You can customise the sht out of it.
    – CJK
    Aug 4, 2018 at 11:29

1 Answer 1


The answer to this is really unintuitive...when you don't have this option selected, the tabs show the shortcuts you want "cmd + number": enter image description here

However, then you see this annoying issues where the tab shortscuts are based on opening order, even if you rearrange them. After selecting the option to switch tabs, the shortcut shown on each tab is misleading: enter image description here

But, it now works with cmd + number in the tab order you see (without needing to use the "option" key.

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