How-To Geek

Quick Tip: Firefox Ctrl+Tab Popup Menu Switcher

The Tab Mix Plus extension has a gem of a feature buried deep within the settings: The ability to turn the Ctrl+Tab key from a direct tab switch into a popup menu that works similarly to the Windows Alt+Tab feature. It’ll pop up a tiny dialog window that gives you a list of your tabs, and then on release of the keys will switch to that tab.

I’ve been using this for a while, but I only realized it’s one of those things I can’t live without when I actually had to go without it for a few minutes earlier…


To turn on this setting, open up Tab Mix Plus Options, click on Events and then the Tab Features tab. You’ll see a checkbox titled “Ctrl-Tab displays a tab list popup menu” which you’ll want to select.


Just try it for a while… if you use as many tabs as I do, you’ll want to always keep this setting on.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 08/23/07

Comments (10)

  1. ralliart12

    Ok, that’s damn cool…on a side-note, any task switcher extension that u’ll recommend for the Windows system itself? I find the Alt+Tab tool frm MS PowerToys unable to work properly with 1 of my msstyles theme. Currently I’m undecided between TaskSwitchXP & Alt Tab Thingy(this has the preview taskbar buttons, ala Vista). Wondering if there’s one u have already been using…

  2. The Geek

    I haven’t found anything very useful for windows, especially for vista… I pretty much dislike all of them.

    I’d love if somebody made an alt-tab switcher that worked exactly like this one for firefox.

  3. Sarah

    This is a good tip! I am glad to see The Geek give us non-Vista users a little love. Seems like all the tips thus far have been for Vista.

  4. The Geek


    I’ve been hearing from a lot of readers saying the same thing, that I’ve been doing too many Vista articles. I’m going to try and write some more non-vista articles… I’m trying to be careful not to cover things that have been covered to death (like XP), unless I can bring something new to the table.

    What types of topics would you like to see?

  5. ralliart12

    Hi ‘the Geek’, as pertaining to your reply to my 1st post: there are; there really are a multitude of task switcher avail for Windows OS. I’m currently on the Alt-Tab Thingy I mentioned. You can try out TaskSwitchXP too, if you like. The reason I chosed ATT is bcos previously I was using the official TaskSwitch from MS + VisualTaskTips to generate taskbar button preview(ala Vista); 2 SEPARATE process with the 1st consuming ~1592kb & the 2nd consuming 3416kb of memory. So ATT has the features of BOTH, & runs at a lesser memory footprint of 352kb!

    Only thing is ATT’s running presentation(or UI) is slightly less polished than TaskSwitchXP(my initial other choice, NOT the official one from MS). So if u DUN wan the taskbar preview, you make that for the slightly nicer, more ‘XP-feel’ interface & animated fade-in + fade-out.

    Btw, in most of the task switcher I found, once you disable their ‘preview pane’ options, you can the same feel as the one for FFox which you posted.

    P.S. is there a print this page function on your site, for there’re some articles I like to print out but too many formatting & images that wastes ink. Thanx.

  6. The Geek

    Thanks for the reply… a print page function is a good idea, I’ll add that to my list.

  7. Sarah

    I love The Geek! I come here every morning while I am waiting for my coffee to brew. My main interest are the Firefox and XP tips. Even though XP has been around for awhile and I am sure there have been lots of articles written about it, The Geek is my only source for tips. I don’t browse the others out there, my trust lies in The Geek.

    So, while I understand the latest crave for Vista info, I am still an XP and Firefox user. Some habits are just hard to break.

  8. Simon

    Just discovered the Geek’s site – great stuff!
    For quick tab switching in Firefox, try Viamatic foXpose:

    …as the man says:
    “Click on the icon in the status bar to view all the browser windows with a single click.”

    No keyboard shortcut, but you’re two clicks from any tab, and it’s pretty fast, too.

  9. keith

    when using on mac OSX, the menu pops up but has no ability to control, ie mouse doesn’t respond, keyboard doesnt respond, so basically when you press ctrl tab it pops up the menu and switches to, well, whatever it pleases. is this an osx issue, a bad extension version issue, any ideas?

  10. Bob Eaves

    How can I enlarge a picture I have on an e-mail I’ve received?

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