I am using Mac for a year now, but still didn't figure out if there is any systematic way to switch between windows here?

Obviously it is not possible to use Command-TAB all the time as in Windows. For example, if I have opened two text documents in Word and two another text documents in Writer, I need to remember, in which application they were opened and use Command-TAB or Command-BackQuote depending on the parameters of the planned switch.

But this is complicated for some applications, because, for example, Command-BackQuote does not work for Google Chrome. So if I have two documents in Word, two documents in Writer, one page in Chrome in one profile and one page in another, I need to choose between Command-Tab, Command-BackQuote and Control-Arrows. Moreover, Control-Arrows don't behave in predictable manner and often I need to seek window for some time.

Next complications arise if several monitors are connected. Sometimes it makes window switching just impossible. Sometimes Command-Tab can show window in the list, show it switched to it, but window doesn't appear.

Is there any consistent and understandable model of windows behavior in macOS?

  • 1
    Does this answer your question? Best app to switch between all open windows
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Oct 28, 2022 at 11:46
  • 1
    Absense of one solution means there is a clash between creators' stubbornness and user requirements :D
    – Dims
    Commented Oct 28, 2022 at 12:06
  • 2
    What do you mean? Why don't you try these methods, and see which one works best for you?
    – benwiggy
    Commented Oct 28, 2022 at 12:20
  • 1
    Cmd/` should work equally well in Chrome, btw. Other than that you're trying to see this as one global solution, one overall plan, to what is in fact 3 different tasks, window switching, app switching & Space switching - each of which has multiple methods.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Oct 28, 2022 at 12:35
  • 1
    "should but doesn't" then why not ask about why it doesn't? "The notion of tasks are biases of creators" sounds profound at first reading, like some sort of inspirational quote, but actually means nothing.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Oct 28, 2022 at 13:59

1 Answer 1


To have more Windows-like experience:

  • use application switcher (+) to navigate between open applications
  • to see all open windows of selected application press (arrow up) or (arrow down)
  • minimized windows of selected app are displayed on separate ribbon at the bottom of the screen
  • move between app windows using arrow keys, select appropriate and press to bring it front/activate
  • to cancel app window selecting press
  • to cancel app window selecting and move to next application press

However, this will not work over Spaces. Reason being that Spaces are meant to separate app windows. From documentation:

If the desktop on your Mac gets cluttered with open app windows, you can use Mission Control to create additional desktops, called spaces, to organise the windows. When you work in a space, only the windows that are in that space are shown.

There are several settings in System Preferences/Settings which may impact user experience. Under Desktop & Dock > Mission Control there are "Group windows by application", "Displays have separate Spaces", "When switching to an application switch to a Space with open windows for the application" etc.

It's always good idea to define the problem with precision. In case of Chrome it's probably not switching between app windows. Most likely it's actually how to navigate to any/needed open Chrome tab with ease. For that I suggest Raycast with Chrome extension. You can navigate to any open tab regardless of Space in which Chrome window is open without rising your hands from keyboard. Even if you have only faint idea about the name/content of the tab you are looking for it shouldn't take more than like two seconds to find it.

You must log in to answer this question.

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