I recently received a MacBook Air (Summer 2011, Lion) from work and I'm in the process of configuring it to work like my personal MBA (same model, Lion).

I was happily setting keyboard shortcuts when I came across a rather interesting problem. On my personal MBA I use the combination +` to open a Total-Terminal window. This combination is usually used to cycle through windows, in the opposite direction of +tab.

When I was attempting to set this shortcut in Total-Terminal on my new MBA I got the error:

The key combination "Command + `" can't be used because it's already used by the menu item "Cycle Through Windows".

I immediately went to Keyboard -> Keyboard Shortcuts to look for the key binding but I couldn't find it (+tab is also bound to "Move focus to next window", changing this shortcut and disabling it does not fix the problem). I kept looking and couldn't find it.

Am I just glossing it over or is it not there? Is there any way for me to remove this keyboard shortcut? System-level shortcuts don't seem to be on the menu.

1 Answer 1


Many applications like Terminal also have a menu item like Window > Cycle Through Windows. It stays assigned to ⌘` even if you change the shortcut in the Keyboard & Text Input preferences.

You could add a custom shortcut for Cycle Through Windows in the Application Shortcuts preferences, or disable it with defaults write -g NSUserKeyEquivalents -dict-add "Cycle Through Windows" nul.

You could also force TotalTerminal to use ⌘` by editing ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Terminal.plist directly.


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