Mac tip: switch tabs with a keyboard shortcut

There are numerous programs on the Apple Mac in which you can open several tabs. Regardless of whether it is Safari, Photoshop, Firefox or Affinity Photo - above a certain number, switching becomes difficult. If you don't want to click through the individual contents with the mouse, you can also switch tabs with keyboard shortcuts. This goes both from left to right and from right to left. With which Mac keyboard shortcut you can jump from content to content across all macOS apps, that's what I've broken down for you below. 

Jump from tab to tab in Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Photoshop, Affinity Photo and so on using a shortcut: You can find the instructions here.
Jump from tab to tab in Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Photoshop, Affinity Photo and so on using a shortcut: You can find the instructions here.

Switch tabs on the Apple Mac using a key combination

The two keys you need to jump from tab to tab from left to right are ctrl (control key; ^) and Tab (tab key; ⇥). To switch between them in Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Photoshop, Affinity Photo or another program with tabs, simply hold down ctrl and jump from one tab to the next with the tab key. So if you have a tab active on the left side of the program window, you can search through all the others.

In an app under macOS, you can switch tabs using a key combination: from left to right this works with ctrl + tabulator.
In an app under macOS, you can switch tabs using a key combination: from left to right this works with ctrl + tabulator.

But if you are currently working in a browser or program tab, which is located further to the right in the window, you can also browse the individual tabs from right to left. But for this you need a third button; the Shift key (⇧). To switch between tabs, simply hold down ctrl + Shift using the key combination from right to left and then press the tab key once to jump. The two keyboard shortcuts for the Apple Mac are also useful if you only work in two or three tabs but don't want to use the mouse to switch.

Searching tabs from right to left in the browser or another program window is possible with ctrl + shift + tabulator.
Searching tabs from right to left in the browser or another program window is possible with ctrl + shift + tabulator.

Change program and browser tabs via shortcut

The key combinations are briefly summarized below. If you cannot remember certain key names or if you are wondering what they mean for some keys on the Mac keyboard, then take a look here: Apple Mac - Names and Functions of Individual Keys.

  • Browse tabs from left to right: ctrl + tab
  • Browse tabs from right to left: ctrl + Shift + Tab
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