Control Safari Windows With Keyboard Shortcuts

Give your mouse a break and work faster

Safari Tab Preferences screenshot

Safari, Apple's web browser, has supported multi-window and tabbed browsing for some time. You can open and close tabs and windows with clicks and menu options, but faster ways exist that don't use the mouse at all.

Here are some keyboard shortcuts that make managing tabs and windows Safari easier.

These instructions apply to Safari 10 and later in macOS.

Keyboard Shortcuts for Controlling Windows and Tabs

  • Command + T: opens a new tab with a blank page.
  • Command + N: opens a new window.
  • Command + Shift + N: opens a new window in private browsing mode.
  • Control + Tab: moves you to the next tab to the right and makes it active. Performing this shortcut on the right-most tab will move you back around to the left-most one.
  • Control + Shift + Tab: moves you to the tab to the left, making it active. Performing this shortcut on the left-most tab will move you to the right-most one.
  • Command + W: closes the current tab and moves to the next tab to the right. If you only have one tab open, this command will close the window.
  • Command + Shift + W: closes the current window.
  • Command + Option + W: closes all windows.
  • Command + Shift + Z: reopens the last tab you closed.

Command + Click Shortcuts

Command + click in Safari can perform two different functions, depending on how you set the tab preferences in Safari. Here's where to find and adjust those options to decide which shortcuts are available.

  1. Under the Safari menu, select Preferences.

    You can also press Command + comma (,).

    Safari on a Mac with the Preferences menu item highlighted
  2. Click the Tabs heading.

    Safari preferences on a Mac with the Tabs heading highlighted
  3. The first box you can toggle affects what happens when you hold Command and click a link. If it's on, doing so will open the linked page in a new tab. If not, the linked page will open in a new window.

    Tab preferences in Safari with the Command-click option box highlighted
  4. The third option unlocks some other useful keyboard shortcuts. Click it to combine Command with the numbers 1 through 9 to switch between up to nine tabs (numbered left to right).

    Tabs preferences in Safari with the Command-number option box highlighted
  5. Close the window to save your changes.

Command + Click Options in Safari

Holding Command while you click on a link in Safari will always do something, but the specifics depend on whether you checked the box in Preferences. Here are all of the things you can do with this command.

Checking the box creates tabs with the first two commands, and leaving it unselected creates windows.

  • Command + Click: The link will open in a new Safari tab/window in the background.
  • Command + Shift + Click: The link will open in a new tab/window, which will then become active.
  • Command + Option + Click: The link will open in a new window/tab in the background.
  • Command + Option + Shift + Click: The link will open in a new, active window/tab.

Moving Around Pages

The following shortcuts help you quickly navigate active web pages.

  • Up/Down Arrow keys: moves up or down a web page in small increments.
  • Left/Right Arrow keys: moves left or right on a web page in small increments.
  • Spacebar or Option + Down Arrow: moves the Safari display down by one full screen.
  • Shift + Spacebar or Option + Up Arrow: moves the Safari display up by one full screen.
  • Command + Up or Down Arrow: moves directly to the top or bottom of the current page.
  • Command + [ or Command + Left Arrow: goes to the last page you visited.
  • Command + ] or Command + Left Arrow: goes to the next page (if you'd previously used the Back command.
  • Command + L: Moves the cursor to the address bar with the current content selected.