Switch Between All Open Windows

Over at The Mac Tipper Blog they have posted a great tip for using your keyboard to cycle through all of the open windows. The short cut is called “Move focus to the active window or next window” in the Keyboard Shortcuts area of the Keyboard & Mouse System Preference Pane. According to the post the default is “Control + F4” but, if you are like me and on a macbook and just hit the “Control +F4” all it does is change the volume (some newer Macbook keyboards are different). For the default to work for me I also have to hit the “FN” key and to hit all of those keys its not a comfortable key stroke. So I change it to an easier one.After I opened up the System Preference From the Apple Menu, I selected the “Keyboard & Mouse Pane” and clicked on the “Keyboard Shortcuts” tab on the Left. The “Move focus to the active window or next window” is about the 4th option down the “Keyboard Navigation” list. To change the Default just double click on the short cut ( area on the right). Once the area has changed to an editable area just use the keyboard short cut you want to make it. I really liked the one that The Mac Tipper had so I used it as well. It is “Control + Shift + .(period)”. You could use any one you want but make sure it is not one you may use for an application. 

System Preferences - Keyboard & Mouse - Keyboard Shortcuts


  1. rykart

    SUPER helpful and I’ve looked all over the web to find this shortcut. many thanks!!!!!!!

  2. IT Outsourcing

    well i think these short cuts are really cool and while using the open space windows they are pretty worthy..the only thing which is doubtful is to handle the situation.

  3. Steve Messick

    EXCELLENT suggestion. Thanks, much-o’…!

  4. fox

    Thank you so much for this extremely helpful shortcut!!! 🙂

  5. g

    excellent, thanks. i used the cmd shift period 🙂

  6. sam

    many thanks

  7. cassidy

    Thank you!! This was very helpful.

  8. Tamsen

    On my MacBook Air I switched things so the fn key needs to be pressed to use volume control, or whatever extra thing that particular function key does, so control+F4 works nicely.

  9. Lily

    Great, thanks so much!

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