I'm using Ubuntu 11.10 with Unity.

Switching between applications (Alt + Tab) works, but switching between windows of one application (Alt + ') doesn't. Tried to assign Alt + ' switching to another shortcut (Super + ', Ctrl + ', Alt + F1, using system settings) but nothing works.

After install, everything was working fine.

I have ' (apostrophe) instead of `. To get that, I edited files in the /etc/X11/xkb/symbols. Of course, if this matters.

Seems like there is a problem with assigning shortcuts using system settings. When I assign between windows of the same application to Alt + Tab, it still switches between different applications. No idea what's going on.

UPDATE: The problem is fixed. I've been changing different settings of my keyboard, and one of the settings changed was XKBMODEL. I set it to "latitude" (thought it would fit better, that was really stupid). After I changed it back to "pc104", everything worked normally again. Thanks everybody for your attention!

UPDATE 2: The ` symbol still needs to be in it's place for US layout. For Russian I was able to leave ' assigned to "TLDE" button.

UPDATE 3: Seems like I have got the same problem with "Switch between windows of the same application immediately" (which is Alt + Esc by default). It doesn't work, and assigning it to another shortcut doesn't help. Any suggestions?

  • Have you tried editing the /etc/X11/xkb/symbols/ back to ` instead of ' ??
    – rlemon
    Commented Feb 8, 2012 at 22:45
  • also according to here /etc/X11/xkb/symbols/ was moved to /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols/*
    – rlemon
    Commented Feb 8, 2012 at 22:47
  • @rlemon I've changed it back to "key <TLDE> { [ grave, asciitilde ] };". Unfortunately, I didn't make any backups before modifying this file, so I'm not sure if this is what I need. Commented Feb 8, 2012 at 23:04
  • What keyboard layout do you use? The window switching is usually mapped to the button above the Tab key: for example, in the case of the Hungarian keyboard layout it is mapped to <kbd>Alt</kbd>+<kbd>0</kbd>. So it depends on your keyboard layout, what key combination do you have to press to switch between windows. You could try to switch to an another keyboard layout, and see what happens.
    – toros
    Commented Feb 8, 2012 at 23:12
  • I use English and Russian layouts, and both have "key <TLDE> { [ grave, asciitilde ] };". <TLDE> is the key above tab. Besides that, why do my attemps to assign windows switching to another shortcut fail? Commented Feb 8, 2012 at 23:23

8 Answers 8


This was my problem too. Alt+<key above tab> didn't work to switch windows in the current application.

In addition, when i pressed and held down the super key to see the unity shortcuts, normally one would see this:

enter image description here

I'm assuming that is for a US keyboard? I stole the screenshot from another post, and on my danish keyboard it now shows Alt + Onehalf.

But when I had this problem, I did not see the line pointed to by the red arrow!!!

So check if you see a keyboard shortcut for "Switch windows of current application". If you don't this is for you:

The fix was as hinted at above to change the XKBMODEL setting in /etc/default/keyboard where I changed from XKBMODEL="microsoft4000" to XKBMODEL="pc105".

I did that and ran sudo dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration. Not sure this last step was required.

Then I needed to reboot.

Now it works.


Suboptimal, but you can use the down arrow after Alt + Tab.

  • 2
    Yes, that's an option, but <kbd>Alt</kbd>+<kbd>`</kbd> would be a lot better. Commented Feb 8, 2012 at 23:28
  • No disagreement here.
    – Amanda
    Commented Feb 8, 2012 at 23:29
  • 1
    @Amanda Thanks, I was unaware of this trick which works for me much better than the required feature, so your answer is to me superoptimal... Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 18:18

You can change the short cut key of "switching windows" to Alt +Tab. Then you will be able switch between windows (not applications)

Exclusive for ubuntu 18.04 LTS - search keeyboard in settings and do the above change

  • No need to install any other packages Commented Jun 4, 2018 at 4:39
  • 2
    This works as 18.04! Up you go Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 16:01

In Ubuntu 18.04.1 the default shortcut to switch between windows of same app is

Alt + F6

See Screenshot Here

  • 1
    Use shift to go backward in order.
    – gMale
    Commented Mar 28, 2019 at 15:28

In Ubuntu 18.04, at least with Vanilla Gnome3, press Alt+Esc for switching windows direct


Just use

Switch within same app (alt+tilt) = [Alt] + [`]

Switch with another app = [Alt] + [Tab]

  • 1
    Yes, Alt + ` works great to switch between multiple windows of same app, thanks :) Commented Nov 25, 2021 at 15:24
  • 1
    Your most welcome :) Commented Dec 8, 2021 at 7:40

What about then you Tab to your target window and Enter?

  • You have a enough reputation to post a comment. So do not post comment in answer section.
    – d a i s y
    Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 4:01
  • @daisy, actually it is an answer... But I've made it as a question.. what is the problem? Karel, thanks for your edition. Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 10:41
  • The behavior is the same as alt+tab in my ubuntu. Which is not the "common" behavior for alt+tab. Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 16:00

Just press Super for 3 seconds and you will see the screen “Unity Shortcuts for Your Keyboard”:

Unity Shortcuts for Your Keyboard

There you will find your shortcut according to your keyboard and yes it's Alt+The key above Tab.

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