VRonin, thanks for looking at that. I'm seeing that -- call to d->makeVisible(index); -- also in Qt 5.5.1. As is apparent from the code, that "ensure visible" DOES work as long as SOME OTHER tab is currently current -- i.e. in the call to QTabBar::setCurrentIndex(int). Conversely, it doesn't work if the new current index is already current. I regard this as a Qt bug. I've run into this a few times -- arguably overzealous optimizations in Qt code. Side effects like this cannot always be skipped. Here is the current Qt 5.5.1 code: void QTabBar::setCurrentIndex(int index) { Q_D(QTabBar); if (d->dragInProgress && d->pressedIndex != -1) return; int oldIndex = d->currentIndex; if (d->validIndex(index) && d->currentIndex != index) { d->currentIndex = index; update(); d->makeVisible(index); d->tabList[index].lastTab = oldIndex; if (oldIndex >= 0 && oldIndex < count()) d->layoutTab(oldIndex); d->layoutTab(index); #ifndef QT_NO_ACCESSIBILITY ... ... ... #endif emit currentChanged(index); } } A workaround I've tested is as follows. If the QTabBar's current tab IS the one you want current (but may have been scrolled out of view by the user), you need to first call QTabBar::setCurrentIndex(int) with some other tab, and then call it again with the desired tab. I did this (not generalized here, specific to my context) ... // Note [Phil, RW 7.1, Qt 5.5.1, 5-2017]: Because of a bug in QTabBar:: // setCurrentIndex(int), the QTabBar isn't scrolled to the specified // index IF that index is already the QTabBar's current index. // SEE forum post: https://forum.qt.io/topic/79200/ if ((_objTabBar->currentIndex() == objTabInx) && (_objTabBar->count() > 1)) { _objTabBar->setCurrentIndex ((objTabInx > 0) ? objTabInx-1 : 1); } _objTabBar->setCurrentIndex (objTabInx); installSimObj (refObj);