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I have a file explorer window opened and is in the background of Chrome:

screenshot with file explorer behind chrome

However, when I click on the file explorer icon on the Launcher, it doesn't open/switch to the already opened window, but instead open a new one:

screenshot with new window opened in front of chrome

How can I just open/switch to the already-opened file explorer window?

Is this a known behaviour or is it a bug?

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I have had this problem as well! It seems very random and I haven't been able to find any fixes! Hope someone figures this out soon! – RPi Awesomeness Dec 17 '13 at 1:44
Thanks god someone asked this. I was getting paranoid. Just to mention that this happens both if the already window is a normal Files window or if it is a copy file dialog etc. – hakermania Dec 17 '13 at 3:12
Just did some searching and this came up:… (2nd answer) Might be worth trying (even though it seems to fail for that person.) Also… could be a duplicate... – RPi Awesomeness Dec 20 '13 at 2:24
Strange, I don't know if this helps, but whenever I hover my mouse over the Firefox icon it displays all open windows and lets me choose. > Edit: Spelling – SomaComa Dec 26 '13 at 4:36
How about to switch thru open windows with Alt-Tab ? Not the expected answer but why bother, at max half a year and a brand new ubuntu will be released... – Ice Dec 28 '13 at 21:37

You may have the "Open each folder in its own window" check box selected in the Behavior tab of File Management Preferences.

Select a folder
From the top menu bar, select Edit/Preferences
Behavior tab
Uncheck "Open each folder in its own window"

It would help to know which version of Ubuntu you are using; this answer is a guess. Edit your question with the output of this command from the terminal:

lsb_release -a
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