Are there any keyboard shortcuts to switch between tabs in terminal?

3 Answers 3


Default shortcuts

These are the shortcuts listed under the Terminal -> Window menu. On older MacOS versions they were called Select Next Tab and Select Previous Tab.

  • Show Next Tab: +} (selects the tab to the right of your current tab)

  • Show Previous Tab: +{ (selects the tab to the left of your current tab)

I think it would make more sense to say ++] / [, since that's actually what you type.

How to set custom Terminal shortcuts?

Since there are menu items that these shortcuts trigger, you can use System Preferences-> Keyboard-> Keyboard Shortcuts-> App Shortcuts to reassign the shortcuts to whatever you want. Click + to add a shortcut:

  1. Application field - select Other... (at the bottom) and navigate to Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal.app.
  2. Menu Title field - type the name of your shortcut, e.g. Show Next Tab (you can find the exact shortcut name in the Terminal -> Window menu, where the default shortcuts are listed)
  3. Keyboard Shortcut field - press your custom shortcut keys. Adding custom shortcut on old MacOS (prior to 10.11). Details might differ on new OSes.
  • 1
    On a German keyboard the combos are: CMD+Ä and CMD+Ö (yes, with the 'Umlaute') :)
    – gentmatt
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 19:26
  • I'm curious, are those located just above and to the left of the right shift key? Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 19:27
  • Diagonal to the top left. So I guess it's the same location!
    – gentmatt
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 19:27
  • Defaults seem so foreign (but I'm not a heavy mac user...), Chrome and my text editor use Meta + Alt + Arrows to flip through tabs, but Terminal.app is a special snowflake I guess.
    – Nick T
    Commented Jun 30, 2013 at 6:29
  • 4
    As of OS X El Capitan, the Menu Title is now Show Next Tab. Commented Jan 11, 2016 at 14:57

+ + arrow keys is also a valid option.


  • 4
    Not sure why this was voted down. Works for me. Commented Oct 7, 2014 at 21:26
  • no source, no reference, bit short on explaining ect..
    – Ruskes
    Commented Oct 7, 2014 at 23:36
  • Doesn't work for me on Mavericks.
    – MikeB
    Commented Nov 4, 2014 at 22:03
  • 1
    Works great for me on Yosemite. This is a far better answer for people with non-english keyboards where the braces are hard to type. Commented Dec 21, 2014 at 19:16
  • Works for me on Yosemite as well. You can use Command + arrows to switch terminal windows and add shift to switch tabs inside the window. Commented Jan 9, 2015 at 9:33

If you want to choose your own shortcut for switching tabs in terminal:

open /System/Library/PreferencePanes/Keyboard.prefPane/

Application Shortcuts > (Add) > Application (Other...) > Applications/Utilities/Terminal

Menu titles:

Select Next Tab
Select Previous Tab

I've chosen, for example, +ALT+ and +ALT+.

  • Is Select Next Tab a reserved command on Mac? I mean, I don't get how the OS will understand this. Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 14:45
  • 1
    Yea, this is what I would like to set my Terminal shortcut to be too since every other application with tabs uses this. But it doesn't work when I add it in shortcuts.... How does mac know what command to do?
    – jaredwilli
    Commented May 18, 2016 at 12:22
  • If a new OS X version has changed the Terminal app menu item titles, then change it accordingly.
    – Jose Alban
    Commented May 18, 2016 at 12:59

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