QuicKey

QuicKey

Add keyboard shortcuts to switch tabs with a Quicksilver-style search or a most recently used (MRU) menu

QuicKey in the Chrome Webstore

View the project on GitHub

Use ctrltab as a QuicKey shortcut

Do you wish Chrome had the same ctrltab tab navigation as Firefox? There are two key features Chrome is missing:

Chrome extensions can't provide this functionality all by themselves, unfortunately. With a little work, however, it is possible to achieve both these features with QuicKey, though the second one requires some additional Windows-only software. (QuicKey does support keyboard-driven selection of a tab from a menu without any additional setup; it's just that you can't use ctrltab as the shortcut without these workarounds.)

You can choose one of these ctrltab behaviors:

  1. ctrltab instantly switches between only the two most recent tabs
  2. ctrltab cycles through any of the recent tabs, but requires a brief pause before you press it again to switch back
  3. ctrltab switches between the two most recent tabs or you can keep holding ctrl to select a recent tab from a menu (Windows only)

Just don't follow the steps in more than one of these options. If you later change your mind, you can always go back to the Keyboard shortcuts screen and click the clear button next to the shortcuts, or change them to something else

Note that with any option, you'll naturally lose the ctrltab and ctrlshifttab keyboard shortcuts to move the next or previous tab within the current window. On Windows and Linux, you can still use ctrlpg dn / pg up to move to the next/previous tab, and on macOS you can use cmdopt / .

Option 1: Use ctrltab to instantly switch between the two most recent tabs

Chrome's Keyboard shortcuts screen normally blocks you from using ctrltab as a shortcut, but it is possible to use the Chrome developer tools to work around this limitation. (This is also much simpler and more reliable than other approaches that require messing around with Chrome's preferences files.)

  1. Install QuicKey.

  2. Right-click the QuicKey icon and select Options from the menu.

  3. Scroll down the QuicKey Options page and then click the Change Chrome shortcuts button.

  4. After the Keyboard shortcuts page opens (chrome://extensions/shortcuts should be in the location bar), press ctrlshiftJ on Windows/Linux or cmdoptJ on macOS to open the Chrome DevTools.

  5. Copy this block of code:

    chrome.developerPrivate.updateExtensionCommand({
        extensionId: "ldlghkoiihaelfnggonhjnfiabmaficg",
        commandName: "30-toggle-recent-tabs",
        keybinding: "Ctrl+Tab"
    });
    

  6. Click into the console area of DevTools and paste the code next to the >.

  7. Press enter to run it.

That's it!

Now you can press ctrltab to switch to the previously used tab, and press it again to switch back. Unlike Option 2 below, you can toggle between only the two most recent tabs, but the advantage is you can switch back and forth as quickly as you like.

Option 2: Use ctrltab to switch to any recently used tab

Follow steps 1 through 4 from option 1 above, and then:

  1. Copy this block of code:

    chrome.developerPrivate.updateExtensionCommand({
        extensionId: "ldlghkoiihaelfnggonhjnfiabmaficg",
        commandName: "1-previous-tab",
        keybinding: "Ctrl+Tab"
    });
    chrome.developerPrivate.updateExtensionCommand({
        extensionId: "ldlghkoiihaelfnggonhjnfiabmaficg",
        commandName: "2-next-tab",
        keybinding: "Ctrl+Shift+Tab"
    });
    

  2. Click into the console area of DevTools and paste the code next to the >.

  3. Press enter to run it.

That's it!

Now you can press ctrltab to switch to the previously used tab. If you press it again within .75 seconds, while the icon is inverted , you'll switch to the tab before that. You can press ctrlshifttab to navigate in the other direction.

(You should always be cautious about copying code from a website and running it in DevTools, but even if you don't know JavaScript, it's hopefully clear what the snippet above is doing. It's calling a private updateExtensionCommand() function twice to set ctrltab and ctrlshifttab keyboard shortcuts. The "ldlgh..." string is QuicKey's extension ID, which you can see in its Chrome webstore link, so this code won't affect any other extensions you have installed.)

Option 3: Use ctrltab to switch to a recent tab via a menu (Windows only)

mru-menu

This option provides the closest experience to Firefox. It lets you quickly press and release ctrltab to switch to the previous tab, or you can keep holding ctrl to select from a menu of recent tabs.

  1. Install QuicKey.

  2. Download and install AutoHotkey, a Windows utility for remapping keys.

  3. Press WinR to open the Run dialog. (Or click the Start menu, type "run", and pick the first result.)

  4. Type shell:startup into the dialog and press enter to open your PC's startup folder.

  5. Download quickey-ctrl-tab.ahk, an AutoHotkey script that sets up the keyboard shortcuts for QuicKey.

  6. Drag the quickey-ctrl-tab.ahk file to your startup folder and then double-click the file.

Now switch between a few different tabs in Chrome using the mouse (since QuicKey was just installed, it won't have any recent tab history). Then press and release ctrltab to switch to the previous tab.

If you press ctrltab and keep holding ctrl, a menu of recent tabs will open. Press tab to move the selection down in the list, shifttab to move up. When the desired tab is selected, release ctrl to switch to it.

The other default shortcuts continue to work, so you can still press altQ to open QuicKey and search for a tab by name or URL instead of picking a recent one. Or you can press altZ to toggle between the two most recent tabs without opening a menu.