Cmd-Tab behavior is inconsistent

Discussion in 'macOS' started by JoJo88, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. JoJo88 macrumors newbie

    Apr 27, 2011
    Flipping between applications is simple using the Cmd-Tab key combination.

    But I find that it's not consistent.

    If for example I am using a web browser and want to check mail with the e-mail client, pressing Cmd-Tab (and repeating the Tab press as needed) brings up the e-mail application.

    But if, after checking mail, I press Cmd-Tab once, I am not always returned to the web browser.

    Sometimes when I press Cmd-Tab, the order of apps displayed across the screen is not the order I've recently visited them. For example, the most recent app I visited might be 3rd or 4th, as displayed.

    This has puzzled me for a long time. Why does OS X not consistently take me back to the previously-used application with one press of Cmd-Tab? It frequently does, but not always. The order is random.

    This has persisted across both Leopard & Snow Leopard.

    Am I alone in this experience? Ideas?

  2. eternlgladiator macrumors 68000


    Jun 20, 2010
    Twin Cities
    I don't usually have more than 3 or four apps open at the same time but I've never had a problem using cmd tab to switch programs I do notice that generally only the two I'm switching between tend to stay static but I haven't taken notes on it. They're usually the only ones I care about at that particular moment though.
  3. samh macrumors 6502

    Oct 29, 2009
    I don't know if you're alone in this, but I often have 8 or more apps open and the consistency of CMD+Tab to go to the most recently used app always works for me.
  4. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
    I don't know if they changed this on newer versions of OS X, but looking at it on 10.4.11 Tiger this is what I'm getting:

    If you press command + tab once, the switcher appears with the highlight on the second icon, for each time you press command + tab consecutively it moves one icon to the right. Once you select an icon, off screen that icon moves to the 1st position in the switcher, all the other icons to the left of the icon you selected move to the right. So basically each time you switch to an App, that App moves to the first position and all the others slide over to the right to take up the blank space that your now active App previously occupied. That's why when you command + tab more than once non-consecutively the Apps aren't in the same position they were for the previous use. I hope this makes sense to someone besides me. :)

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