Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

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

Using 11.10.

When I use ALT+TAB to cycle through my apps I would like to have icons for all my open browsers. I use the ` (Grave) but I really find that hard to use.

Anyway I can just use ALT+TAB only?

share|improve this question
if you hold on the browser it opens up to your open windows. – rlemon Dec 3 '11 at 16:45
up vote 21 down vote accepted

Here is my solution:

  1. Install compizconfig-settings-manager and open it.

  2. Go to Desktop > Ubuntu Unity Plugin.

  3. Open Switcher tab and make key to start the switcher and key to start the switcher in reverse disabled.

  4. Go back to CompizConfig Settings Manager.

  5. Go to Window Management and enable Application Switcher.

  6. Open Application Switcher and change key bindings of "Next Window (All windows)" to Alt-Tab and "Prev window (All windows)" to Shift-Alt-Tab.

Then you will start to use a different switcher instead of Unity's switcher.

share|improve this answer
The application switcher seems gone in Ubuntu 12.10. – levesque Feb 13 '13 at 17:07
You have to install compiz-plugins in Ubuntu 12.10 – Thomas G. Mayfield Mar 11 '13 at 19:22
Worked for me on 13.04, too. – Daniel Albuschat Jun 23 '13 at 8:07
Window Management seems not present in 14.04 – Pierre de LESPINAY Jul 25 '14 at 9:40
@PierredeLESPINAY: See answer below: – Alexander Rechsteiner Aug 15 '15 at 9:11

The other option -which I'm testing out this week- is to have the ALT+TAB switch between apps, and ALT+| switch between windows of the same app. It sounds complicated but it works surprisingly well.

Use case A: You're on Firefox and want to switch to Thunderbird: ALT+TAB.

Use case B: You're on a Calc window and want to switch to another Calc window: ALT+|.

In B, you could use the old way of ALT+TAB, where it cycles through all your windows, but it can take a while to do that if you have more than a few windows open. With this thing, you always know where you want to go, and choose the quicker way to get there.

I choose | because it's just above TAB, so my brain and my finger don't need to move very far.

To enable this: System Settings > Keyboard > Shortcuts > Navigation > Switch windows of an application (it's just underneath Switch applications, which is how I found it).

Easy to test, safe, easy to revert, no need to install anything.

share|improve this answer
The same behaviour seems enabled by default with ALT + the key between ESC and TAB (which is ² for AZERTY layout), at least in 14.04. – Skippy le Grand Gourou Aug 30 '15 at 10:40

Otuzbesli's answer works but for Ubunut 14.04 you need to install compiz-plugins.

sudo apt-get install compiz-plugins
share|improve this answer

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.