macOS: Use Command + Tab To Switch Mac Apps Faster

1 minute read
| Quick Tip

Mac Geek Gab listener David has a tip for us, and it involves using Command + Tab to switch Mac apps. But he uses it in a different way.

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Switch Mac Apps Faster

David writes,

I use Command-Tab all the time to switch between open applications. All the time! But as handy as that feature is compared to reaching for the mouse or trackpad, I’ve been frustrated at times when I have too many programs open to quickly switch to the one I want.

Then I guess one day I must have been going too fast for my own good and didn’t even let go of the mouse while I was Command-Tab switching, and I saw the highlighted app icon go the wrong way altogether. I didn’t realize what I’d done until I repeated it by mistake again some other time.

But that is my Tip: While still holding down the Command key, whether you’ve hit Tab once or a dozen times, moving the mouse will let you dynamically highlight ANY of the app icons filling the screen! All you have to do is get to the right one and release Command.

Switch Mac apps with the apps switcher as pictured here.

So that’s it. When you use this keyboard shortcut, you can still use your trackpad or mouse to click on any app you’d like.

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xmattingly
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xmattingly

It’s even better than that. You can move backwards (right to left) in App Switcher by holding Command+Shift+Tab. Or while holding down the Command key (while staying in App Switcher), you can press “q” to quit a highlighted app, or “h” to hide it. Even better, still: Click and hold a file with your mouse, then activate the App Switcher. Drag that file to an app icon to open it within that app. Essentially the same thing as dragging a file to an app in the Dock – and it does take some getting used to, but since App Switcher… Read more »

furbies
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furbies

xmattingly

Cheers. I didn’t know about the open file with app one

xmattingly
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xmattingly

Another reason I’ve found that particularly useful is for opening a file in a non-designated application. Much easier to drag something into the App Switcher than weed through the “Open With” submenu of a right click, IMO.

Thorpeado
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Thorpeado

And if you press q before releasing CMD the highlighted app is quit. Not sure if there’s any other magic key combinations