App Switcher doesn't switch to apps opened from file or by Spotlight

Describe the bug
Since I've added the App Switcher widget to my Touch Bar one month ago, I'm facing issue with it where it won't be able to switch to some apps for an unknown reason. And I'm not talking about minimized apps or hidden windows.

I think it can concern apps opened when opening a file from Finder. And I'm currently noticing the same behavior when launching app from Spotlight.

Restarting BTT fixes the unswitchable apps, but every new app opened won't allow switching.

Affected input device (e.g. MacBook Trackpad, Magic Mouse/Trackpad, Touch Bar, etc.):
Touch Bar

Device information:

  • Type of Mac: mbp 2018 13" TouchBar
  • macOS version: 10.14.1
  • BetterTouchTool version: 2.689

Seems to work fine here. Is it a specific app that's not working, or any?

Maybe try updating to macOS 10.14.2 and/or restart your system.

One thing to note: the BTT app switcher doesn't open new windows if there aren't any. However you can observe the app switching by looking at the menubar.

Thanks for your answer.

I'm facing this issue with many apps, even stock ones. For example, System Preferences, Activity Monitor, etc.

I'll try restarting my system, but I've faced the issue a few times and I've already restarted during this period so this isn't a great fix.
I'll try updating to 10.14.2 and see if it changes something.

I also think that this issue was related, because I don't think the OP was talking of minimized apps.
And yes, I know about your note, and I'm only trying to switch to apps with an already-opened window. And in my case, the menubar doesn't change at all when this bug occurs.

EDIT : I've just updated to 10.14.2 (and so rebooted my machine) and bug is still happening.

OP of linked post here; (like OP of this post, no apps used in my testing are minimized or hidden)


  • some apps opened using spotlight aren't able to be switched to by the app switcher on BTT. The same apps, if opened from the launch pad, switch no problem, but if you open from spotlight it doesn't switch to the app even though the icon appears on the BTT app switcher and is clickable.

  • The same issue also is effecting files opened from finder. For example, I can open preview from the launch pad, then in preview open a file, and app switcher switches to it no problem. But if I open a file from finder that launches the preview application, now that application is not able to be switched to.


  • I opened preview using launch pad, and was able to switch to preview no problem. Then I closed all my apps.
  • After closing all apps, I opened a few 3rd party apps (spark, skim, chrome) and a native app (preview), all using spotlight. All 3rd party apps I opened through spotlight were able to be switched to by BTT app switcher, but preview would not do anything if I clicked on it.
  • I repeated this with opening the preview file from finder, and it still didn't respond.
  • Following this, I closed preview, and opened it using launch pad. Now app switcher didn't respond to preview, even though I used launch pad to open it, and it was responding before when using launch pad. I opened another native app using launch pad (settings) and was able to switch to it using app switcher no problem.


  • It would appear that this is happening randomly, and with random apps regardless of 3rd party or native OS. Specifically for my trial today it was preview that was causing problems, even though it worked fine at the beginning of my test.
  • While it's not a big issue by any means, it's kind of cumbersome to use the BTT app switcher to switch to an app, have it work most of the time but all of a sudden it doesn't work, and have to resort to native app switcher (cmd+tab) when I could've done that to begin with and save some time. The reliability of it is the biggest issue imo.

Affected Input Device
Touch Bar

Device Info:

  • Type: MBP 2018 15" TouchBar
  • MacOS version: 10.14.2
    BTT Version: 2.689
1 Like

Ahh I think I might have identified an issue in the code that could cause this.
It happens when an app has been quit while BTT was running and is then opened again. In some cases the identifiers have not been refreshed correctly.

Will be fixed in the next version later this weekend.


Thanks a lot for reproducing the issue @6ixStacks and help debugging !

Glad to know that @Andreas_Hegenberg has found and fixed the bug :ok_hand:

1 Like

Could you try whether the new alpha already helps? (Only made a quick little change, maybe I need to go deeper but let's see)

It seems to work on my side, even if I've only made a few tries. I let you know if I encounter the bug again.

Thanks :pray::ok_hand: