Being a Mac user since 1988, I am used to seeing several Finder windows open and dragging files between them. With the update to Catalina, switching to the Finder will only shown one window, regardless of the number of previously opened windows. Every time I now have to use the menu command to show all windows. That is slowing me down and a poor UI choice.

Now I wonder why there is no setting to show all windows per default. Note this question is not for a keyboard shortcut to show all windows (like in this answer) but for setting the Finder default to the correct behavior. Show all windows, right after command-tabbing to the Finder.

  • Are the windows all there but hidden behind other apps, or not visible at all?
    – Tetsujin
    Apr 1, 2020 at 9:12
  • 1
    Control Tabbing? You mean Command Tabbing? If I Command Tab to the Finder, I get all my Finder windows to the front. That's how it's always been, and I doubt Apple has revised the Finder meaningfully.
    – benwiggy
    Apr 1, 2020 at 9:15
  • @benwiggy: You are correct, it's command-tabbing. And in my case I get only one Finder window and all others are hidden. If I hide all other apps, they become visible. That has been the normal behavior since I got my new laptop with Catalina. Apr 1, 2020 at 10:41
  • @PeterKämpf Well, they haven't made a special build of Finder for new laptops! Try testing a new user account, as suggested.
    – benwiggy
    Apr 1, 2020 at 11:13
  • @benwiggy: When I select the Finder in the dock, all windows show up. It is only command-tabbing that shows only one window. On a new account (without any change on my side) command-tabbing doesn't do anything. That's right: The new account does nothing when I command-tab anywhere. Apr 1, 2020 at 12:04

1 Answer 1


This is not the behaviour that I see (in 10.15.3), so I suspect the cause is likely to be some user settings, either for the Finder, or Mission Control.

The easiest way to check that a problem is cause by user settings is to create another user account, login there, and test the problem. If the problem does not occur in the fresh user account, then you know it's something in the original account's Library.

You could try deleting files from /Library/Preferences that seem relevant, like com.apple.finder.plist and com.apple.spaces.plist, com.apple.systempreferences.plist, and then restarting.

Note that you will obviously lose other parameters when doing this. If removing these files doesn't fix anything, you may wish to restore the old files.

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