In Chrome I often toggle between open tabs using Ctrl + tab to go forward, and Ctrl + Shift + tab to go backwards.

For some reason, I can't get the reverse navigation working (using Shift) when using this keyboard. It does work if I use the key combos directly from my laptop's keyboard, however. It's also not working in Messages, to go between conversations.

My Apple wired keyboard (full size with number pad) is plugged into my 30 inch Cinema display, but to be honest, it still doesn't work if I plug directly in to my laptop.

Any ideas?

Update: On both my internal laptop and wired keyboard, I've remapped the Caps Lock key to be the Control key, and vice versa. If I restore defaults, the tab cycling is fixed. If I set the Caps Lock key back to being the Control key, and try to cycle backwards, it breaks. Just confirmed the same is true in Safari. And, no matter how I modify the keys of the internal keyboard, cycling is perfect.

  • Does the shift key work in other contexts?
    – Daniel
    Commented Mar 21, 2012 at 19:30
  • Yeah, sorry, shift key works to capitalize letters.
    – djibouti33
    Commented Mar 21, 2012 at 23:26
  • so I was right then, you had a key map issue, just not the one I thought you had :p
    – Stu Wilson
    Commented Mar 22, 2012 at 21:29

2 Answers 2


If the Shift key works in normal context, and if the same combo doesn't work in say Safari, then I'd think the keyboard hardware has an issue, or the keyboard combination is mapped to another function in Keyboard Shortcuts.

I mapped the combo to Show Launchpad and experienced the exact same issue. Shift works, Ctrl + tab works, but because I mapped the combo elsewhere it was no longer available to apps to use, and Ctrl + Shift + tab failed in Chrome and Safari.

If that is not the case, then its remotely possible that the keyboard is faulty, but since I would expect other combinations to fail if it were faulty, you haven't mentioned any and I assume that none are.

  • I'd be inclined to think it was a mapping issue if it weren't for the fact that using the Shift key to cycle backwards through open tabs works when I'm using the laptop keyboard. Pretty much the only thing the wired keyboard's Shift key doesn't work properly is cycling backwards.
    – djibouti33
    Commented Mar 21, 2012 at 23:28
  • what about CMD + Shift + Backspace in Chrome, does that open up the Clear Browsing Data panel in Chrome?
    – Stu Wilson
    Commented Mar 22, 2012 at 6:04
  • Ha, yeah, actually it does. Weird that the only thing I can't do is cycle backwards through open tabs in several applications. Bummer since I use that so much.
    – djibouti33
    Commented Mar 22, 2012 at 17:03
  • You've probably already done this, but keyboard modifier keymapping is per-keyboard, so have you checked the modifier key settings are the same for both keyboards?
    – penguinrob
    Commented Mar 23, 2012 at 23:37

I just stumbled upon a shortcut that seems to work in both directions:

control + shift + command + left

control + shift + command + right

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