Switching between tabs using keyboard shortcut

Brass Contributor

In Firefox you can switch between two recently used tabs by pressing CTRL-TAB. Would be great to have this feature in Edge Chromium! Currently, CTRL-TAB switches between all open tabs.

18 Replies

Hi @Michael_Buchner, we are investigating ways to make Tab switching hotkeys more usable.  Would you expect that CTRL+Shift only ever switch between the last two tabs?  If more how many?  What scenarios do you have that necessitate the rapid swapping of tabs?  This information will help us better understand the underlying jobs to be done, and help us craft better solutions.  Thanks - Elliot

Hi @Elliot Kirk, Firefox switches between last two tabs, so I personally would prefer to have the same feature in Edge Chromium as well. You wrote CTRL+Shift - why not making it configurable to have this feature either on CTRL+Shift or CTRL+Tab? Thanks Michael

Would you expect that CTRL+Shift only ever switch between the last two tabs?  If more how many?

@Elliot Kirk: For reference, Firefox lets you switch between the six latest tabs, in MRU (most recently used) order.

In Opera, on the other hand, you can switch between all you open tabs in MRU order.

Ideally I would like to see no limit (like Opera) but I you are going to cap it, I would say four is the absolute minimum.


It's this lack of functionality in Chrome that has prevented me, and many with me, from using Chrome as my main browser ever since it was released. It is frequently described by non-Chrome users as being a blocker for switching. This feature has been requested for Chrome/Chromium for over a decade by hundreds of users, but Google simply refuses to implement it. As mentioned many times in the linked thread, it's a basic usability feature that even IE11 had (available as an option in the settings). It's akin to Alt+Tab for programs: you expect that feature across all OSs. Not including it would be a regression.


@Elliot Kirk wrote:

What scenarios do you have that necessitate the rapid swapping of tabs?

I use it constantly: when I compare info in two (or more) tabs by quickly switching back and forth; when I quickly want return to my previous tab without closing the current tab I'm viewing, etc...


If you were to implement this I would make Edge my main browser, and you can be sure that you would gain many of the users that have refused to switch to Chrome so far because of this. You would have a significant feature over Chrome, and gain a lot a goodwill with many disgruntled non-Chrome users, and that can only be a good thing :smile:

I don't really think there is a need to make it configurable, as anything other than Ctrl+Tab would be non-standard; one reason for adding this feature is, besides from being extremely useful (I'd go so far and call it "necessary"), is the standard behavior of specifically Ctrl+Tab in other browsers.

@alhpaYou're absolutely right! I would also really love to switch over from FF to Edge Chromium but, as you wrote, this is one of my must-haves.

@alhpa Chrome and Opera has Ctrl-Tab (and Ctrl-Shft-Tab for reverse) showing all tabs in thumbnails (Chrome) or list with url-icon (Opera). Works just like alt-tab for switching between windows, tap tab key once switches back and forth, hold ctrl and tap tab key walks through.

I use this very frequently going back and forth between two web pages, or between three pages, email-wiki, email-projectMgmt, email-calendar etc.

It is a must have, I would switch to edge right away, uses less CPU and memory than all other browsers (so far). Thanks Mattias

@mattjan, We are not discussing the general ability to switch tabs with ctrl+tab in this thread, but rather MRU order of tab switching, which Chrome certainly does NOT have. Let's stay on topic.

Please read the links I posted above.

Microsoft Verified Best Answer

@alhpa @Michael_Buchner @mattjan Hi all, we wanted to follow-up with you to share some good news! After receiving feedback about this functionality from Insiders like you, our team implemented the tab switching feature. We started rolling this out a few months back, so give it a try and let us know what you think!




Fawkes (they/them)
Program Manager & Community Manager - Microsoft Edge


@DeletedYes, that's awesome! Great feature, well done!
Last thing I'm missing is that Edge is not able to remember the download locations (local disc, network, ...) based on download url/domain like Firefox does. After that is implemented or available as extension, I'm gonna migrate from FF to Edge ;-).

@Michael_Buchner Excellent, I'm glad to hear that solves your use case. And thanks for sharing that need; I have additional good news for you. If you paste edge://settings/downloads into your browser, you can change the default download location! Let me know if that helps.


Fawkes (they/them)
Program Manager & Community Manager - Microsoft Edge

@Deletedwell, that's the default download location for all sites/urls you download a file from. Firefox stores and keeps the download location site-dependent, that means if you download a file from www.x.com, default download location would be C:\x and if you download from www.y.com it would be C:\y. That's a pretty nice thing in case you want to download documents from different web sites periodically, for example invoices each month. You don't have to switch the locations every time as Firefox knows where to store the files (download location history).

@Michael_Buchner Thank you for elaborating; I understand the context around that feedback better now. I'd be happy to pass this request along to the Download team. In addition to invoices, can you think of any other scenarios in which you'd use/want that site-specific download setting?


Fawkes (they/them)
Program Manager & Community Manager - Microsoft Edge

@Deleted sure, but just refer to the scenario described in my last reply. Each month I'm downloading documents like invoices from different providers/companies to my network storage or OneDrive. Here I have an invoices folder in "documents" containing subfolders for each provider. When I download a file, Firefox is using the download location for that specific URL from local browser storage. When I download a file from another provider/URL, Firefox knows where to store it in case I have already downloaded a file from that URL and changed the download location. Got it? ;)

Affected Firefox setting is browser.download.lastDir.savePerSite.

I guess it's off topic here, so please refer to https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/discussions/site-specific-download-location/m-p/1372266.

@Michael_Buchner Thank you for elaborating, that's helpful!


Fawkes (they/them)
Program Manager & Community Manager - Microsoft Edge

@Michael_Buchner I just switched from Google Chrome to test out Microsoft Edge and the option to "toggle" between two tabs is a must for me. The best option I found was to bring over this extension from the Google Chrome store and it seems to work flawlessly in edge: "Alt + Q Switch Recent Active Tabs".... it used to be free... they may be asking .99 cents for it now? I hope this helps other users who are looking into this, thx!


Alt + Q Switch Recent Active Tabs - Chrome Web Store (google.com)

@Elliot Kirk  In both Firefox and Chrome, CTRL-Tab takes you backwards through previous tabs and does not open them (shows mini preview) in reverse order as long as you hold CTRL as you press Tab. It might as well be a browser standard feature across them all. And it would mesh well with new sleeping tabs feature so you don't end up waking currently unused tabs. 


I agree with @Lance808 that ctrl-tab should have the same behavior as in FF which is to alternate between 2 most recent tabs.  Edge cycles through all tabs which is kind of useless when lots of tabs are open (as most people usually have) because then I would rather click on the tab I need. Alternating between 2 tabs is a common use case when one needs to copy something from one page to another etc.  Note that pressing ctrl-tab-tab should go to the 3rd most recent tab etc. like in FF.  This way you are able to easily navigate to any most recent tab (much more useful than just cycling through all of them in sequence).


Lastly, when I click the close button on any tab, the most recently open tab before the closed tab should be the one that becomes active.


Since some people might prefer cycling through all, I would say this could be an option.  This is the main reason why I won't use Edge.

f*ck meeee, **this** is the cause of my tabs appearing in WINDOWS apps switching? how do I turn this crap off? There is no "Settings - System - Multitasking" menu in my Edge!!! EDIT: found it, WTF is this setting going into WINDOWS SETTINGS? Move it into Edge's settings, not into OPERATING SYSTEM settings.

I want ALT-TAB to switch between PROGRAMS!!!
for switching child windows of the same program, there is CTRL-TAB for that! since 30 f*cking years!!!

@op, you want cycle, learn what shift does to alt-tab and ctrl-tab!!! 🤬