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Small question here. I try to set CTRL+SHIFT+W to open an internet browser. Every time I add it to the keyboard shortcuts in the settings, it takes back a level in the settings menu rather than accepting my new shortcut. Any ideas?

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This means that this shortcut is already set to perform that particular action. You can confirm it by going to different settings. Infact, in firefox, chrome, and opera, pressing this key combination closes the window. – green Apr 20 '13 at 9:02
Which; "different settings"?. – geezanansa Aug 12 '13 at 16:29
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Can not confirm what is using or has been assigned ctrl+shift+w to close tabs or windows but that is probably why the window closes when you try to assign that shortcut to launch browser.

After checking HUD and System Settings>All Settings>Keyboard there appears to be no thing assigned that keyboard shortcut. Refering to gives information regarding using dconf Editor to view all keyboard shortcuts but again no thing is being shown that indicates ctrl+shift+w being assigned to any thing.

Searching the web confirms some body has filed a bug at launchpad so it might be worth our while to add as affected here.

Looking at this question may also indicate something has changed with regard how keyboard shortcuts work in newer flavours.
It would appear alt+F4 is the assigned shortcut to close windows.

Depending on your keyboard you could assign the appropriate media key or hot key or Function Key to launch browser through All Settings>Keyboard>Launchers>Launch Web Browser which would give one button launch ability.

Launch Browser

Maybe Unity shortcut may be an option?

Open your browser and right click the icon in launcher to lock it to launcher.

Lock to Launcher

Press and hold the Super(Windows icon) which will show HUD with information regarding keyboard shortcuts.


Note looking at Launcher your browser icon may have been assigned a number.
I mostly use Firefox and pressing and holding Super tells me Firefox has been assigned the number 6. So pressing Super+6 will launch browser for me.

If pressing and holding Super does not show a shortcut number for your browser

No Shortcut

Just drag and drop the launcher icon to nearer the top of launcher for it to be assigned a number.

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Ctrl + Shift + W doesn't close windows, just close all currently open tabs for some programs that use tabs. See for example how it's work in Gedit. – Radu Rădeanu Apr 20 '13 at 13:25
When in All settings>keyboard>launchers>launch web browser and when trying to change shortcut pressing ctrl+shift+w closes that window. – geezanansa Apr 20 '13 at 15:17

This is because Ctrl + Shift + W shortcut will close all currently open tabs (Ctrl + W will close only the current tab). If you are in a browser (Chromium, Firefox) this shortcut will entail closing the window.

Try to use another combination like Ctrl + Shift + B or Ctrl + Shift + C (these I tested) and will work like a charm.

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How about adding to your answer why a browser tab/window shortcut affects desktop/system shortcut? (ie by closing a system settings window) You do provide alternative shortcuts as workaround. This should not be necessary. – geezanansa Aug 12 '13 at 16:26
Radu Rădeanu Due to the special character in your name the ability to @your name appears to be not working even after copying and pasting from your profile page. This may explain why you have so many profile views!? Accumulating 10K in a very short period may also be a factor due to your awesomeness! – geezanansa Aug 12 '13 at 16:34

Here are some shortcut keys that are very common for all major browsers. Even you are Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Opera users, these keyboard shortcuts will work for your browsers.

  • Shift+Left Click – It is meant for Opening a link in the new browser window.

  • Ctrl+Shift+Left Click – It is meant for Opening the link in a foreground tab.

  • Middle Click a Tab – It is meant for Closing any the tab.

  • Ctrl+Left Click, Middle Click – It is meant for opening a link in the background tab.

  • Ctrl+Shift+T – It is meant for reopening the last closed tab.

  • Ctrl+T – Open a new Tab with this key.

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