Is there a way to switch easily between specific windows belonging to the same given application?

For example, open Firefox, maximise the window; then, open its History window (History menu -> Show all history), maximise it too. Is there an easy way to switch between these two maximised Firefox windows, without necessarily minimising the current window (or other windows in front of the required window)? Similarly, if I open another application alongside, how can I quickly go to the Firefox window of my choice?

I have tried Alt+Tab, but when coming back from another application, which of the Firefox windows I end up with seems indeterministic.

  • Under Gnome, I would find the window I'm looking for in the bottom bar.

  • Under OSX, I would right-click on the application's icon and choose the relevant window from the list.

  • Under Windows 7, I would click on the application icon and choose from the smaller windows.

Is there something similar that's not activated or not visible by default in Unity? Hovering my mouse until I've found somewhere worth hovering over hasn't been very successful so far.

I would prefer a click-based solution, but solutions involving key short-cuts instead are welcome.

3 Answers 3


One suggestion is to use the default Launcher capability to display all the windows of a running application.

Press Win - also known as the super key to display your Launcher - or move your mouse to the left hand edge to display the launcher.

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You'll notice that applications with multiple windows will have "dots" next to them.

Click once to bring the first window to the foreground. Click again to reveal all the windows for that application:

enter image description here

From that view you can choose which window you are interested in.


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Use the keyboard shortcut Alt+`

That "`" is called a grave - let go of the grave without letting go of Alt and then repress grave to cycle through the windows group.

  • almost at the same time, same type of answer, with pic included. You were like 20 seconds faster :)
    – bioShark
    Jan 31, 2012 at 23:42
  • ... yes... but I like your cat better!
    – fossfreedom
    Jan 31, 2012 at 23:43
  • thanks. She is my default google wallpaper. Added her as test the day google introduced the feature to add wallpapers. She was a kitty then. Now she is all grown up :)
    – bioShark
    Jan 31, 2012 at 23:46
  • Well, I've upvoted you both and wasn't sure which one to accept between those two good answers. The additional info after edit helped the decision. Cheers.
    – Bruno
    Jan 31, 2012 at 23:51
  • I did even know about the Alt + `. Definitely the right choice in accepting fossfreedom's answer.
    – bioShark
    Feb 1, 2012 at 0:00

If you click on the icon which has 2 windows open (you should notice that the application icon on the unity panel has 2 or more arrows to the left meaning that it has multiple windows open) it brings up the selection screen.

This is from my desktop, 2 chromes open:

enter image description here


If you want this to make this work on all viewport you need to install CompizConfig Settings Manager and then go to:

Ubuntu Unity Plugin > Switcher > Key to start the switcher for all viewports

Change the key to Alt+` (Or any favorite key)

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