Home > Wiki Tips

Comprehensive Guide on Mac App Switch

Updated on Friday, June 14, 2024

iBoysoft author Ciki Liu

Written by

Ciki Liu
Professional tech editor

Approved by

Jessica Shee


Summary: By pressing the Command + Tab key, you can open Mac app switcher and easily switch apps on Mac. This post is a comprehensive guide on Mac app switch, including where is it and how to use it. 

Mac app switch

Although you can clearly view running apps on Mac Dock and switch apps by clicking on the icons, it's actually not the easiest way to switch between apps on Mac. macOS has one hidden feature named Mac app switcher. By making use of it, you can speed up the workflow and quickly navigate to desired windows.

This post covers two essential questions you may concern about, where is the app switcher on Mac, and how to switch between apps on Mac quickly? Besides, you'll learn an effective way to launch a certain app with only one click. Scroll down and get to know more about Mac app switch.  

Mac app switcher

Where is the app switcher on Mac

To your surprise, it is not a stand-alone application that's responsible for switching apps on Mac. Instead, Mac app switch is a keyboard shortcut. By holding down Command + Tab keys, you'll see Mac app switcher hovers above all the other windows on your screen, cycling through all running apps from the left to the right in the order of your recent usage.

As long as you hold the Command key, the Mac app switch stays in the middle of your screen. By further clicking on the Tab key, you can select one certain running app from the Mac app switcher. To revert the selection order, you can hold the Shift key and keep tabbing while pressing the Command key.

Mac app switch shortcuts

Alternatively, you can use the left or right arrow on your Mac keyboard to navigate. If you prefer using the Trackpad, you can also navigate Mac app switch by swiping with two fingers and confirming your selection by clicking on a certain app icon.

How do I quickly switch apps on Mac

When asked how to switch between apps on Mac, it can have two different meanings. One is the switch from one app to another app, and the other is Mac switch between windows of same app. You can find solutions for each case in the following.

How to switch between apps on Mac

Step 1. Press Command + Tab keys together to bring out Mac app switch. Release the Tab key once the Mac app switcher shows up. By default, the second app, which is preliminarily used before the current running app, is selected on Mac app switcher.

Step 2. Select the app you want to switch to by clicking on the desired app icon. Then you'll be guided to the panel immediately. 

Please share this post on your social media.


How to switch between windows of the same app on Mac

Step 1. Launch Mac app switcher by pressing the Command + Tab keys. Let go of the Tab key when you see the Mac app switch.

Step 2. While holding down the Command key, tap on the Tab key continuously to select a desired app. You can also select apps by using the left/right arrows on your keyboard.

Step 3. Once the app is selected, hit the up or down arrow to bring out all running windows of the app. You can click on one of the window to further switch between windows of the same app on Mac.

switch windows of the same app on Mac

Bonus: Use iBoysoft MagicMenu to launch apps with one click

Obviously, users play with Mac app switcher for a more streamlined workflow and improved work efficiency. However, it's also obvious that Mac app switch is not the optimal choice to switch apps on Mac, given that it requires pressing the keyboard all the time. Is there a better way to quickly navigate and launch another app on Mac?

iBoysoft MagicMenu is a small yet handy tool that customizes and enhances the right-click function on Mac. By adding features such as New File, Move To, Copy To, Quick Access, etc, it allows you to tailor-make a powerful right-click menu on Mac. Among these features, Quick Access contributes to switching apps on Mac more easily and efficiently.

Share this post if you find it helpful.


Quick Access

Applications, directories, browsers, and website links can all be added to the control panel under the Quick Access section when you right-click on Mac. Without opening Finder or Launchpad, you can enjoy quick access to the apps you commonly use.

quick access

Additionally, this right-click enhancer has a lot to explore. Download iBoysoft MagicMenu and customize your right-click menu to switch between apps on Mac in one click.  


After reading this post, you should know where is the Mac app switcher and how to switch between apps on Mac. What's more, you can try iBoysoft MagicMenu, one handy right-click utility, to quickly access applications, websites, and any other frequently visited locations. Share your thoughts with us in the comment below.