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I know you can use command + ` to switch between windows in one program in one space.

But this is only in the one space, if you have other windows from the same App in different spaces ... it won't switch to that space.

5 Answers 5

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There is a shortcut to do this, though it doesn't cycle between windows; it only allows you to choose one. But it will switch to it regardless of which space it's on. It's a convenient way to access App Exposé for any app.

Press Cmd+Tab to open the application switcher. Use Tab (or Shift+Tab or ~) to select the app you want, then keep holding Cmd. Then press 1 to see all of the selected app's windows. You can then select a window by typing its title, or with the arrow keys.

Re-tested and verified on macOS 11 Big Sur in 2022. This process includes open and minimized windows, but not full-screen windows. It also doesn't work when initialized from a full-screen window, which seems strange.

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  • I don't understand this suggestion at all, since Cmd+Tab is modal - you can't lift the Cmd key without exiting the whole thing. Does this suggest to press 1 while Cmd is still down? Or did the whole switching dialog work very differently 9 years ago when this was written?
    – q.undertow
    Feb 23, 2022 at 5:50
  • Great question, thank you. Yes, the suggestion involves continuing to hold down Cmd, but as written, that's not clear at all. I'll edit the answer to make it more clear. Mar 2, 2022 at 7:19
  • This is a fascinating answer, I use Cmd+Tab all day, but who would have thought to press 1 while in that menu.
    – Mint
    Mar 3, 2022 at 22:11
  • Q and H work as well, to Quit or Hide the selected app. :) Mar 8, 2022 at 19:55
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I don't know if there is a direct shortcut for that.

An alternative would be using the application windows exposé, which shows all of a particular application's windows (across all spaces). I think the default keyboard shortcut for this is F10, but you can change it in System Preferences > Mission Control.

(You can also set up a gesture for it if you're using a trackpad.)

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  • I didn't think there was a shortcut but thought it would be worth an ask.
    – Mint
    May 8, 2012 at 9:32
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There is no keyboard shortcut that will switch spaces for you.

But there is a shortcut to do what you want:

Ctrl ^+

Also you can swipe down with three fingers on a touchpad/trackpad to open App Exposé

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  • I mean, yes, that does display all open windows from x app, but I was hoping for something that would flip between them like command+`. PS, for others: It's triggering the Mission Control, "Application windows" shortcut in System Preferences > Keyboard, for anyone who may have this disabled (like I did).
    – Mint
    Mar 3, 2022 at 22:03
  • 1
    If you need only use keyboard you can just use arrow keys for navigation and Enter key to activate selected window after entering Application windows mode using shortcut above Mar 4, 2022 at 3:35
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Unfortunately, there's no system default to cycle windows - some apps have this built in, such as Terminal being able to command-N between different open windows (in the order to they were opened), yet Safari with no such behavior.

Apple seems to think that we'd all prefer the eye candy of Expose/Mission Control/etc rather than a standard shortcut system.

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  • Eye candy is great... but only is it works fast every time... Mission Control isn't always as responsive as I would like and I hardly use it... I much prefer "Spaces" as it was in Snow Leopard.
    – Mint
    May 8, 2012 at 9:32
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    Agreed totally, I haven't seen anything compelling in Lion to even upgrade my offices. What I probably miss most is the ability to resize windows from all edges...
    – da4
    May 8, 2012 at 16:39
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I am facing the same issue - I want to switch between windows of the same application (housed in different spaces) using something simple like a keyboard shortcut, rather than messing with the trackpad.

What is interesting is that Microsoft Excel for mac actually does this! You just use the normal shortcut and it'll switch between open windows of excel, regardless of what space their in.

Doesn't work with any other programs (including Word, etc) that I have noticed so far though.

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