I've searched around SE and see a lot of similar questions but not this exact question:

Basically, looking for a way to swap cmd+W and cmd+H either in the OS/System Preferences or with an app. I use both all the time but find it's just easier to hide rather than close apps so as to not have to (re)maximize closed apps.

I'm aware of the differences between the two and prefer to use a single left hand key combo (cmd+w) to hide rather than having to move my right hand (cmd+h)to hide.

  • 1. No, it's not really possible to change a global command like that. 2. For Cmd/H just put your little finger on Cmd, not your thumb. Easy.
    – Tetsujin
    Apr 27 at 16:38
  • Welcome to the world of Apple, where they tell you how you like to work. Apr 27 at 17:13
  • But hiding/unhiding will give you more trouble than just command+tab away. You are not cleaning the memory, so what is the point? Apr 27 at 17:15
  • It's a cognitive load thing. If I'm working in an app, I want to just focus on that app and hide other apps in the desktop view. With cmd+W as close, I end up closing apps much more frequently (than hiding) so when I command+tab to a different app after closing I have to re-open/maximize the app. This requires and extra click (or cmd+option) whereas if they were just hidden they automatically reappear.
    – jpatrick
    Apr 27 at 17:57
  • Just use Spaces. One app per Space. Key commands can swap between Spaces just like Cmd/Tab [except you don't have to keep pressing until you find the one you want, you can go straight there.] See apple.stackexchange.com/questions/179376/… and superuser.com/questions/1187532/…
    – Tetsujin
    Apr 27 at 18:10

1 Answer 1


There are a number of tools you could use to do this, but a popular and free option is Karabiner Elements, which remaps the keys on your keyboard anyway you want using simple or very complex rulesets.

Once installed (brew install karabiner-elements), create a new "Simple Modification," which will allow you to directly change one key for another. In your case, make sure it's only while the ⌘ key is active.

  • Sure, this is the 'right answer' but really it's just allowing the OP to dig a bigger hole to have to climb out of.
    – Tetsujin
    Apr 27 at 18:31
  • @undefined "make sure it's only while the ⌘ key is active" thanks for the pointer! This makes it sound easy to do in Karabiner Elements but it's not clear how to do in Simple modification.
    – jpatrick
    Apr 27 at 19:11

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