With every Mac OS X I've ever used, hitting command-backtick (`) cycled to the next window. I just installed Mac OS X 10.7 (on top of a perfectly fresh 10.6), and command-backtick does nothing at all.

Did this feature go away?

  • (I know the answer, but it was tricky to find, so I was going to file my own question-and-answer, but apparently I need to wait 8 hours for that.)
    – Ken
    May 8, 2012 at 18:01
  • Isn't this the default? I've upgraded machines to Lion and used new Macs with Lion and all have had this turned on.
    – badams
    May 8, 2012 at 19:53
  • That character is not a tilde. This is a tilde: ~. May 8, 2012 at 20:17

2 Answers 2


This feature is still present (I'm using 10.7.3 and it works for me).

Go to System Preferences > Keyboard and check the keyboard shortcuts. In the list of 'Keyboard & Text Input' shortcuts you should see 'Move focus to next window' +`.

Make sure it is checked, and it should work.

  • Yes, that is the answer I had found. From a fresh install of 10.6.3 from a retail DVD onto a blank disk, upgraded immediately to 10.7.3 from the Mac App Store, it had a default of command-F1. It's doubly strange, since typing command-F1 didn't even work for that, even though both the command and F1 keys work fine in other contexts!
    – Ken
    May 8, 2012 at 20:37

You might also be interested in Hyperswitch.

Along with Command ⌘ + Tab ⇥, hyperswitch allows Option ⌥ + Tab ⇥ to switch between windows of the same app. I find it much more useful than Command ⌘ + ~ (tilde) since Command ⌘ + ~ (tilde) only iterates through all windows, rather than just toggling between two.

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