Before the upgrade I was using 14.04 and I was happy with alt+tab and alt+` behavior for switching between apps and between windows of an app respectively. Both showed me the items in last recently used order, in particular single alt+tab always switched me to the previous one.

Now, in 18.04, I can't help understanding what order it offers to me. It looks like it's not last-recently-used any more. Sometimes alt+tab switches me to the window already active. Sometimes to get to the previously active window I have to do alt+tab+tab+tab+`. Is there any way to restore the intuitive behavior?

Also, an annoying thing is, if I switch to one window of an application, the whole application is brought up. Any way to disable this?

  • 1
    no, it's about the order, not about apps vs windows Sep 8, 2019 at 18:06
  • Alexey, I feel I'm experiencing the same problem. I find the window switching very frustrating, and I am wondering if you ever figured this out? Dec 13, 2021 at 10:43

1 Answer 1


The GNOME Shell's default setting for Alt+Tab in 18.04 is to switch applications, rather than windows. To change to a window-centric switching behavior, you can access the Keyboard settings app and change the "Switch windows" function to Alt+Tab. You will need to acknowledge that you are removing the current mapping for "Switch applications."

This YouTube video has a more thorough explanation of the setting change.

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