BetterTouchTool Icon

BetterTouchTool is a free Mac utility that allows you to supercharge your Mac’s trackpad gestures. There are literally hundreds of uses for an app like this, but I’d like to share with you one particular use case scenario that I find extremely useful.

I’ve set up BetterTouchTool to allow my MacBook’s trackpad to quickly cycle through all of my open tabs in Safari using a simple two-finger gesture. Have a look at our full demonstration video and tutorial for all of the details.

First and foremost, you’ll need to install BetterTouchTool. It’s available free, and is a must-have Mac utility if you’re using a trackpad or a Magic Mouse.

Once you install BetterTouchTool, launch the app, and use the import option inside its preferences to import my Safari-Tab-Cycler-BTT file.

You can see the result of my imported gestures in the following screenshot:

BetterTouchTool Safari Tab Switcher

If you’d like to set up the gestures manually, instead of importing my pre-made file, then follow the steps outlined in the video embedded above. In the video, I not only show you how to create a pair of useful tab-switching trackpad gestures, but I show it in action as well.

Seeing is truly believing in this case, as switching tabs can be performed with a single hand using nothing more than a gesture. BetterTouchTool is an extremely awesome app, and when wielded properly, can really serve to supercharge your gesture game.

What do you think about this tab-cycling gesture? Do you have any additional BetterTouchTool secrets to share?

  • MyNameIsURL

    I’m glad I enabled site notifications on my Mac for this site. Last night I downloaded BTT and then I saw this post today. This seems to be an excellent tool. Not sure why Apple doesn’t build such options into preferences. I wouldn’t mind seeing more posts about this App. Cheers.


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  • Gabriel Olivares

    Thanks for this.
    Always great videos.

  • karol

    Close tab (command + w) —> one finger tap top right on touchpad
    post more functional shortcuts below…..

  • Shaw

    Have using this for years. Really handy

  • AM

    I have been using it for a couple of years. It’s an absolutely must-have for me. Highly highly highly recommended. I use it for all kinds of gesture-based shortcuts. The developer is good about frequently updating it and fixing any bugs (I have never encountered a bug on it).

    • Kelvin Lieu

      ive had it for a while but not informed of the most known gestures for it. care to share some of your ‘can’t live without’?

      • AM

        Sorry Kevin – took forever to reply. Here are my most commonly used shortcuts.

        5F (5 finger) click = quit app
        4F tap = Open Finder
        3F click = close (cmd + W)

        Firefox and Safari:
        3F swipe down = cmd + T (create new tab)
        3F swipe down + Fn key = cmd + L (highlight URL field to enter a URL)
        3F swipe left = switch to next tab on the right
        3F swipe right = switch to next tab on the left
        TipTap Left (2 Fingers Fix) = cmd + click (Doing this over a link opens it in a new tab. I do it by using my middle and ring fingers to touch the pad while the cursor is on a link, then while keeping them on the pad without clicking, I tap my thumb).

        2F swipe left = forward button command
        2F swipe right = back button command

        After a while you get so used to using these, that it’s second nature and makes using your Mac a much faster and smoother experience.

  • Jailbrkr21

    I love this, thanks Jeff.

    please could you do another video of more ways you use BetterTouchTool.


  • andyr354

    One of the first utilities I download on any Mac. It is great with Logitech gaming mice. Don’t bother with installing Logitech’s utility just use BTT to setup the buttons to whatever you like.

    Four finger tap to the reader view in Safari is nice. Three finger tap with left swipe down is my CTRL W.

    I have custom actions for Safari, Chrome, Spotify, etc..

  • Joey

    Been using BTT since 2011. Works great for assigning trackpad gestures to Firefox as well as other tasks.

  • Ok so this is awesome!

  • Bob Bobsledge

    Thanks for this! I’ve added two finger tap for open link in new tab, and one finger tap on the left upper corner to close the tab. Works perfectly. If anyone has other cool ideas let me know!

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  • Bruno Pinho

    can i do the same with magicPrefs?

  • Like this; you can make the same thing for Firefox- Control page up or down

  • James G

    I love that you can export configurations for use on other macs too.

    I use two three and four finger gestures for all kinds of apps. This is hands down the best tweak for Mac.

  • James G

    Oh and I recommend Two finger Tip Tap left and Two finger tip tap right for navigating between tabs. Normally you are scrolling with two fingers so already have two on the track pad. Really simple.

    I use three finger tip tap left and right to close a tab or open a new one.

    • Asam R

      What predefined action do i need to choose to open/close tabs?

      • James G

        Use keyboard shortcuts as the trigger.

  • vivalaivsca

    My favorite gesture right now is my three finger swipe up for fullscreen. =D

  • Mr_Coldharbour

    BetterTouchTool is an indispensable Mac app. I’ve been using it for over 3 years. I found it especially useful when Apple, for some unfounded reason, did away with the amazing and super intuitive Snow Leopard-style multi-touch gestures for the trackpad on Mavericks to quickly show the desktop or launch the exposé-style (all running apps windows) view, I managed to replicate those actions with the old-school 4-finger swipe up to dismiss all apps and show desktop, and others. Brilliant brilliant utility!

  • Asam R

    Thank you so much for this!

    Just downloaded this, incredible easy!

  • Gary LE

    Feel like donating lol. But how much????$$$$

    • Mr_Coldharbour

      Whatever you feel is right.

  • Joonyaboy

    Very helpful…thanks man

  • Shrukul Habib

    Really Helpful, thanks!