Going crazy with Cmd+Tab switching in Ventura

Here’s the current issue. I have Excel open with three windows, two on my laptop and one on an external monitor.

I CMD+Tab to switch to another app (e.g. Mail) on my external monitor. I copy something from Mail and then use CMD+Tab to switch back to Excel. But instead of all three Excel windows showing Mail is still covering up the Excel window on my external monitor and I need to use the Excel Window menu to see it again.

This happens with all sorts of app combinations. And just since Ventura.

Any solution?

Is Stage Manager on?

Stage manager is not on. I can’t figure out how to use it. In fact, I can’t see a single thing in Ventura so far that is better than Monterey.

Try this:

In the Mission Control section of the Desktop & Dock System Setting, turn on the ‘Group Windows by Application’ setting. If that doesn’t work, you might also play with the last one–‘Displays haveS separate Spaces’.

I’m afraid those didn’t help.

This likely isn’t what you’re looking for but I’m curious: after switching to the other app, if you click on Excel in the Dock do all three windows come forward?

Good question. The answer is no. It’s the same as using CMD+Tab.

I wonder why they changed this behavior to something… incomprehensible?

If I do decide to try Stage Manager (which I can’t really figure out) will that make it easier?

Does Cmd-` (the grave accent character, usually the key with the ~, just above tab) open the excel window? (You shouldn’t need to do that, of course, but it’s the hotkey to swap among windows among the current application, sort of the Cmd-Tab for a single app.)

I’m not seeing your behavior, even with Stage Manager switched off.

Does this happen if you close and re-open both apps? If so, does it happen after restarting the computer?

You don’t by any chance have a windowing utility installed (like Front and Center) that might be affecting things?

Cmd-` does work. It takes two clicks though. It seems to rotate among the open windows in Excel and I have 3 open at the moment. Anyway, useful, so thanks for pointing that out.

Closing and re-opening the apps and restarting the Mac don’t help.

In fact, between this and the annoying link pasting issue in Mail (where it turns into a preview unless you do Cmd-K first to create an embed of the link) I wish I hadn’t upgraded to Ventura. I can’t think of even one benefit to the “upgrade.” Just annoyances.

Agh. It happens in other cases too. Like I’m in Chrome and I want to switch to Notes so I can refer to something. But as soon as I switch to Notes the external monitor switches from Chrome to Mail! So I have to keep on doing Cmd-Tab over and over again to go back and forth between the two apps.

The only workaround I’ve found for this is “hiding” Mail with Cmd-H.


Actually, the more I look at this it seems to be a problem just with Mail’s external monitor window stubbornly sticking in place, unless the app is hidden.