The expert Mac user guide to windows

Here are the 8 keyboard commands every Mac user should memorize.

These tips are short, essential, and if you don’t know them already, learn them today.

The expert Mac user guide to windows

I reckon most expert Mac users gave up Windows a long, long time ago – but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve got as good at handling windows on their Mac as they might want to be. The following keyboard commands will change that.


Press Command-Tab and you’ll be in the Application Switcher. While keeping those keys depressed you can flick forward left or right using the arrow keys on your keyboard, use the cursor to select an item manually, or while keeping the Command key depressed, flick through all your open apps by releasing and re-tapping the Tab button. This is absolutely the best way to swiftly move between active apps on your Mac. (Use Command-Shift-Tab to move the other way).


(~ is also called tilde)

This handy little keyboard combo lets you cycle through all the open windows of your currently open app. It doesn’t work so well in Safari, but if you have multiple open windows in any application then this is the quickest and easiest way to move between those.

3-finger swipe

Using a Mac with an touchpad? Three-finger swipe up to see a view of all your open windows in Expose view. Just move your cursor above an item and tap to select it.


Same as 3-finger swipe, tap F3 to see all the active windows currently open on your Mac.


Want to move between all the available active windows inside the current app? Command-` is what you need to use to do just that. You should see that little ` right above the Control key on a Mac keyboard.


In a browser and want to move between all those tabbed windows? Use Control-Tab. In the Finder window using Tabs? Use Control-Tab to move between them all. It’s such a useful way to get around your browser. You can also use Control-Shift-Tab to move in the opposite direction through your tabs.


Here’s another way to shuffle through open tabs in an application: Command-Shift and either [ or ]. This will move you left or right in those tabs.

Command-[a number]
Safari also lets you move between tabs using Command and a number, such as 5 (which will open the fifth tab. So Command-1 will take you to the first open tab, while Command-5 takes you to the fifth.

Want more? Take a look here.

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Jonny Evans

Watching Apple since 1999. I don't say what they should do. I say what they might do. They sometimes do.

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