How to Switch Tabs With Keyboard and Other Shortcuts You Should Know

May 14, 2024 • April Miller

Advertisements

In the fast-paced digital age, mastering how to switch tabs with keyboard shortcuts is a game-changer for efficiency and speed. With the vast amount of information and numerous online tasks, saving a few seconds on repetitive actions adds up quickly.

Learning keyboard shortcuts can dramatically increase your productivity. This skill allows you to navigate through work or research seamlessly, keeping your flow uninterrupted and your focus sharp. Embracing these shortcuts can optimize your digital environment to work smarter, not harder.

The Benefits of Keyboard Shortcuts

The benefits of using keyboard shortcuts for navigating and task management are significant. Firstly, they save time. A task that might take several clicks with a mouse can often be done in a fraction of the time with a keyboard shortcut. It leads to a smoother workflow and more time focused on the task at hand rather than the process of navigating the software.

Secondly, they reduce physical strain. Relying on a mouse for all computer interactions can lead to repetitive strain injuries, while keyboard shortcuts offer a more ergonomic alternative. Lastly, they can enhance focus. Keeping your hands on the keyboard and your eyes on the screen minimizes distractions and maintains a flow state, boosting overall productivity.

How to Switch Tabs with Keyboard Shortcuts in Different Browsers

Navigating multiple tabs in a browser is a common task for any internet user, and knowing how to do it efficiently can be a game-changer. Here‘s how to switch tabs with keyboard shortcuts across different browsers.

Google Chrome

  • To switch to the next tab: Press ‘Ctrl’ + ‘Tab’ on Windows and Linux or ‘Cmd’ + ‘Tab’ on Mac. It moves you one tab to the right.
  • To switch to the previous tab: Press ‘Ctrl’ + ‘Shift’ + ‘Tab’ on Windows and Linuxor ‘Cmd’ + ‘Shift’ + ‘Tab’ on Mac. It moves you one tab to the left.
  • To jump to a specific tab:  Press ‘Ctrl’ + ‘1’ through ‘Ctrl’ + ‘8’ on Windows and Linux or ‘Cmd’ + ‘1’ through ‘Cmd’ + ‘8’ on Mac. Each number corresponds to a position from the first to the eighth tab.
  • To go to the last tab: Press ‘Ctrl’ + ‘9’ on Windows and Linux or ‘Cmd’ + ‘9’ on Mac. These shortcut keys take you directly to the last tab in the window, no matter how many open tabs.

Mozilla Firefox

Like Chrome, you can use ‘Ctrl’ + ‘Tab’ to move to the next tab and ‘Ctrl’ + ‘Shift’ + ‘Tab’ to move to the previous tab on Windows and Linux systems. For Mac users, the combination is ‘Cmd’ + ‘Tab’ for the next tab and ‘Cmd’ + ‘Shift’ + ‘Tab’ for the previous one.

Additionally, Firefox offers a unique feature — when you press ‘Ctrl’ + ‘Tab,’ it not only switches tabs but can also show a preview of the tabs if you enable this feature in settings, making it easier to find the tab you’re looking for.

Microsoft Edge

  • Switch to the next tab:  Use ‘Ctrl’ + ‘Tab’ on Windows and Linux or ‘Cmd’ + ‘Tab’ on Mac. It cycles through the open tabs from left to right.
  • Switch to the previous tab: Press ‘Ctrl’ + ‘Shift’ + ‘Tab’ on Windows and Linux or ‘Cmd’ + ‘Shift’ + ‘Tab’ on Mac, cycling through the open tabs from right to left.
  • Jump directly to a specific tab: By pressing ‘Ctrl’ + a number key (from 1 through 9) on Windows and Linux or ‘Cmd’ + a number key on Mac, you can jump directly to a tab. The number corresponds to the position of the tab, with ‘Ctrl’ + ‘9’ always taking you to the last tab.

One of the unique features of Microsoft Edge is the ability to set aside tabs for later. While not a shortcut in the traditional sense, this feature allows users to clear their workspace without losing their tabs. Edge also integrates with Windows 10/11 features — ‘Alt’ + ‘Tab’ switching — where open Edge tabs can appear as separate windows.

Safari

  • Switch to the next tab: Press ‘Cmd’ + ‘Option’ + ‘Right Arrow.’ This shortcut moves you to the tab to the right of your current one.
  • Switch to the previous tab: Press ‘Cmd’ + ‘Option’ + ‘Left Arrow.’ This shortcut moves you to the tab to the left of your current one.

Other Essential Keyboard Shortcuts You Should Know

Beyond just switching tabs, mastering various keyboard shortcuts can transform your browsing experience, making you more productive and efficient. Here are some essential shortcuts to help you quickly navigate, manage tasks and streamline your digital workflow.

Opening and Closing Tabs

  • To open a new tab: Press ‘Ctrl’ + ‘T’ on Windows and Linux or ‘Cmd’ + ‘T’ on Mac. This shortcut instantly opens a new blank tab, allowing you to visit a new website without interrupting what you’re currently viewing.
  • To close the current tab: Use ‘Ctrl’ + ‘W’ on Windows and Linux or ‘Cmd’ + ‘W’ on Mac. This command will close the tab that’s currently active. It’s a quick way to declutter your browser window without moving your hand to the mouse.
  • To reopen the last closed tab: Press ‘Ctrl’ + ‘Shift’ + ‘T’ on Windows and Linux or ‘Cmd’ + ‘Shift’ + ‘T’ on Mac. This shortcut brings back the most recently closed tab, which is incredibly useful if you accidentally close a tab.

Navigating History 

  • To return to the previous page: Press ‘Alt’ + ‘Left Arrow’ on Windows and Linux, ‘Cmd’ + ‘[‘ on Mac. This action will take you back to the last page you visited in the current tab.
  • To go to the next page: Use ‘Alt’ + ‘Right Arrow’ on Windows and Linux, or ‘Cmd’ + ‘]’ on Mac. This command reverses the back action, taking you forward to a page you navigated away from if you’ve previously gone back.

Full-Screen Mode

  • To enter full-screen mode: Press ‘F11’ on Windows and Linux. On a Mac, you can enter full-screen mode by pressing ‘Ctrl’ + ‘Cmd’ + ‘F.’ This command removes the toolbar and taskbar from view and works on most browsers, such as Edge, Firefox and Opera. Pressing the same keys will return the window to its standard size.

Unlocking Efficiency with Keyboard Shortcuts

Incorporating these keyboard shortcuts into your daily use can significantly streamline your digital tasks, saving time and boosting productivity. Learning to switch tabs with keyboard shortcuts enhances your efficiency and reduces the strain on your hands. These shortcuts allow a smoother, faster and more enjoyable browsing experience, making your digital interaction more intuitive and effective.

bg-pamplet-2