How-To Geek

Select Specific Tab with Keyboard Hotkey in Firefox

Firefox has built-in keyboard shortcuts for quickly navigating directly to the tab you want to get to. This is very useful when you are using Google Reader or Bloglines to read RSS feeds, and you’ve opened up a bunch of tabs. Before discovering this trick, I always used Ctrl+Tab to navigate back, or had to use the mouse.


Ctrl + 1 will always select the leftmost tab.

Ctrl + 2-8 will select each of the tabs in order from left to right.

Ctrl + 9 will always select the rightmost tab.

To see this “in action”, notice that I currently have the middle tab selected:

I hit the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + 1, and I’m instantly taken to the first tab again:

This can save you a ton of time if you like to open a bunch of tabs.

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 12/1/06

Comments (26)

  1. Brian

    On Linux machines, ALT+1 (2,3…) works instead of the CTRL key.

  2. The Geek


    Thanks… that’s a good note.

  3. Annie

    Also, on a Mac, Cmd + the number is what works. Great tip.

  4. Victor

    Thnx !!! again only wise & useful tips on this site

  5. jx dos

    very useful tip

  6. Justin

    Hi, I’m Using Linux And To Switch Tabs It’s The ALT+1 (2,3…) As Brian Stated, How Do I Go About Changing It To The Windows Style? (CTRL+1(2,3…))? If You Can Reply To My E-Mail Address ( instead of here that would be greatly appreciated but either way is good. Thanks.

  7. vijay

    ctrl+tab to switch between tabs works in gnome, but not on kde.
    also ctrl+pageup and ctrl+pagedown to cycle back and forth :)

  8. JohnBUK

    This add-on numbers the Tabs and can be navigated by CTRL+Number.
    Add-on here

  9. Duayne Draffen

    Another amazingly simple, useful tip for us tab junkies! thanks

  10. TBolt

    Thank you so much. I figured that there just HAD to be a hotkey for this. hehehe

  11. David

    Thanks! Muchas Gracias! Danku! Merci!

  12. koori

    Very cool, tnx

  13. anakpawis

    thats a great tip, just popped in my mind and google showed your answer. thanks man

  14. Jez451

    Thaks for posting this, just found it in google and answered my question. Cheers

  15. Bullet

    Richard, I have Speed Dial installed in Firefox and so, when ever I attempt touse this method I instead get sent to a speed Dial page. Hmm…

  16. Lili

    Awesome tip! Thanks so much :) I was HOPING this existed.

  17. Marco


  18. yaju

    thanxs for all this information.. :)

  19. jubop

    wow very use ful=]

  20. Erik

    If you also have the SpeedDial extension, you have to change your settings. If you hit Ctrl+1, SD default settings force the browser to open your first saved speeddial option in the current tab.

    To change this, go to SpeedDial options, then to the control tab. Changing these settings will enable you to use Ctrl+1 to get to the first tab, etc. (On the Ctrl+ option, select do nothing).


    That was indeed a very very useful tip. Thanks so much

  22. Ismail

    Good dude..

  23. krishnaraj

    thanks…….. alt + number works in linux.

  24. hamza azri


    Thanks… that’s a good note.

  25. b b

    Great tip. Also helped me to discover (on Mac) that CMD+option+arrow (left or right) cycles through the tabs sequentially.

    In case you’re too tired to count ;-)

  26. rajesh

    Waste problem…

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