Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Is it possible to quit applications while switching through them with Alt+Tab? When I used a Mac many years ago and you were switching through open applications with (let's say Command+Tab) you could let go off tab and then hit Q to quit the app.

How can I do this same thing in Ubuntu 14.04?

share|improve this question
The most similar thing I recall is Win+W -> Use arrows to highlight window -> Alt+F4 – Salem Aug 10 '14 at 15:15
I am afraid not, as you can see when you press the super ("windows") key (hold). Probably not what you are looking for, but you can right click on the application's icon in the launcher and choose "Quit". – Jacob Vlijm Aug 10 '14 at 15:16
I just tried to and unfortunately, I can't achieve the same behaviour as a mac because of key press speeds... I miss it too ;) – Tim Aug 10 '14 at 15:47
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I may have a workaround to quit an application from the switcher:

  1. Install compizconfig-settings-manager and xdotool
  2. In the compizConfig Settings Manager, go to General->Commands
  3. Write a command (command line 0 is free) as xdotool keyup Alt; xdotool key Alt+F4
  4. Go to the Key Bindings tab
  5. Create a key binding to run the command (Run command 0 is you wrote the command line 1. I assigned the key <Alt>q for myself

Now, from the switcher, select an app (Alt Tab Tab) and keep the Alt key down. And press the q key. The selected app should stop.

share|improve this answer
POW!!! Works, thanks so much! – Elijah Lynn Mar 26 '15 at 15:40

If you have pushed alt + tab, you should see something like this:

Alt+Tab app switching interface

If you select the program you wish to close and then release tab and press ~ it will open a smaller version of the application in the switcher and it will display the X in the top left corner as such:

close button

If you click the X it will close the program.

share|improve this answer
That's interesting. I didn't know about the ~ shortcut. – streppel Aug 10 '14 at 16:18
On the computer where I have Ubuntu 14.04 installed the key to use is ½ rather than ~. If there are multiple windows from the same application, the miniature windows open automatically if I just release tab and wait a couple of seconds, but if there is only one, I have to press ½. – kasperd Aug 10 '14 at 16:49
This is not for closing applications while switching between with Alt+Tab! – Pandya Aug 11 '14 at 8:41
@Pandya I feel this qualifies as while switching as you aren't leaving the tab switching mode. I do, however, understand that this isn't exactly what the OP wanted. I feel it is close enough that it can be used until an answer that fully satisfies the question is submitted. – AceFire6 Aug 14 '14 at 9:04
Thanks for this, I upvoted it, it is close and I have been using it. I am still hoping for an answer that fully satisfies. – Elijah Lynn Aug 19 '14 at 15:31

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.