It used to be the case that command-h ('hide application') would also reorder applications, and put the hidden one at the back of the list (i.e. all the way to the right in the alt-tab list).

In recent macOS versions, command-h still hides but it no longer reorders. It preserves the relative position of the app.

I find this annoying since command-tabbing brings me immediately back to the app I just hid.

Is anyone aware of a defaults that sends an application to the back when hiding it? i.e. bring back the old macOS behavior.

Related, and quite old: Can I get back Snow-Leopard-like application hiding (Cmd-H) in Lion?

Edit: correct alt-tab -> command-tab

1 Answer 1


Following assumes that alt-tab means cmd+tab which brings up Application Switcher & this is not an answer but alternative approach to achieve desired result

According to Apple keyboard shorcuts documentation

Command-Tab: Switch to the next most recently used app among your open apps.

An application that has just been hidden is the most recently used and therefore it's expected behaviour.

Hiding and switching an app can be done in one go within Application Switcher:

  • cmd-tab to application to be hidden
  • press key H which hides an application
  • navigate to desired application using Tab

To "unhide": navigate to hidden application and press H again

This will not put hidden application to the right end but as default behaviour of cmd-tab is to "switch to next most recently used app" it would be hard (or even impossible) to override and will probably come with unexpected side effects.

  • "An application that has just been hidden is the most recently used and therefore it's expected behaviour." -- That is a matter of personal preference. I hide an application if I don't expect to use in the near future, therefore I preferred the old behavior where it was reordered last. Thank you for the comment but there's nothing addressing my main question, reordering to last when hiding (old macOS behavior)
    – Marco
    Commented May 28 at 16:28
  • This is not matter of personal preference. This is matter for what keybindings are meant for. It doesn’t matter if cmd+h would be able to move app display to the rightmost position because cmd+tab (always) returns to the most recently used application. This is how cmd-tab is supposed to work, this is how it’s documented to work. Commented May 28 at 17:30
  • cmd-H used to behave in a way I like (pre-Lion). You like the current/post-Lion behavior better. Nobody is right or wrong. It's personal preference.
    – Marco
    Commented May 29 at 7:14
  • In order to solve the problem it must be identified. Pre Lion cmd-tab was: "Switch application - cycle forward"/"Advance to next app". Now it's "Switch to the next most recently used app among your open apps". So in order to achieve desired result it's not enough to make cmd-h move application to the rightmost position; it also requires changing behaviour of cmd-tab (so that it doesn't return to the last used application but advances to the next app instead). And... I don't have personal preference about this subject as I never hide applications. Commented May 29 at 11:18
  • cmd-tab selects the next application in the stack. This has always been the case and it always will be the case. The difference in cmd-h is that it used to send the hidden application to the back and it no longer does.
    – Marco
    Commented May 31 at 12:24

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