Title says it all.

Since upgrading from 17.10 to 18.04 Alt+Tab works fine i.e. switches apps cycling forward. But Alt+Shift+Tab does not switch apps backwards.

I went to Settings > Shortcuts and noticed that the shortcut for Switch applications is Super+Tab.

I tried Super+Tab and Super+Shift+Tab and they worked as expected, but i'm hardwired to use Alt+[Shift]+Tab. So I switched this shortcut to Alt+Tab.

Still Alt+Shift+Tab only switches forward, and not backwards.

Changing the shortcut to Super+Tab again works as expected for both forward and backward switching.

Any idea how to make the Alt+Shift+Tab work for backward app switching?

3 Answers 3


That's because Alt+Shift+Tab in Ubuntu 18.04 is blocked by another shortcut. It may have been set by Gnome Tweaks (among other possibilities), you can query the current value via:

gsettings get org.gnome.desktop.input-sources xkb-options

The default is [], but if it returns a value that includes grp:alt_shift_toggle, then this explains the behavior that you are seeing.

You can run this command to free the Alt+Shift combination:

gsettings reset org.gnome.desktop.input-sources xkb-options

source1 source2

  • 1
    I was starting to give up! Thanks. Worked like a charm :)
    – Thalis K.
    Jul 17, 2018 at 7:18
  • 5
    It resets Alt + Shift toggle input source behavior
    – Piterden
    Oct 25, 2018 at 1:24
  • @Piterden that happened to me too. Did you find a workaround where the two can coexist? For me each one precludes the other. Oct 29, 2018 at 14:23
  • Unfortunately I didn't. It's fokken GnomeShell. Honestly, I loved Unity. Why did they get rid of it?
    – Piterden
    Oct 30, 2018 at 2:02
  • 4
    My problem was that I'd set Alt+Shift to switch langauge, which in results, disabled setting alt and shift in a shortcut together. I switched to Win+Space and the problem was fixed. Hope it helps some guys
    – imans77
    Oct 27, 2019 at 12:55

I was able to resolve it using Gnome Tweaks GUI.

Open Tweaks and go to Keyboard & Mouse, then click - Additional Layout Options: as shown here, ans then uncheck Alt+Shift under Switching to another layout section as shown here

That fixed it for me.

  • 1
    god bless you man, it worked!
    – Exile79
    Feb 23, 2019 at 17:00
  • This worked! Thanks
    – Hop hop
    Jun 28 at 6:32

I use Ubuntu 18.04 with KDE and the answer from dima.rus helped me diagnose the problem: it was caused by a conflict with the shortcut for keyboard language switching.

What solved the problem for me:

  1. Change the Main shortcuts in System Settings -> Keyboard -> Layouts -> Shortcuts for Switching Layout which was Alt+Shift. EDIT: Do not set it to the otherwise rarely used Caps Lock as once I mapped and started using it, in some rare cases it caused the keyboard caps lock mode getting enabled and stuck (as indicated by the keyboard's caps lock light indicator), and forced me to reboot. EDIT: or instead of reboot, just start Onboard (the KDE on-screen keyboard) and use it to press Caps Lock virtually.
  2. Set the Reverse to Alt+Shift+Tab in System settings -> Task Switcher -> Main -> Visualization -> Shortcuts
  3. Log out and in again to KDE

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