Since upgrading to 12.04, my alt-tab occasionally does not work. I cannot determine the symptoms that lead to it, but there are some windows that just decide not to show. What happens is I alt-tab to a given window, say the terminal, and instead of showing it, I just see it wobble like a notification in the list of programs down the left. Is this a bug?

  • Isn't this a bug, and so off-topic for the site? Dec 4, 2012 at 9:31
  • this worked for me Sep 16, 2017 at 6:38

3 Answers 3


Yes, I noticed that too! I'm surprised they forgot something as important as that.

Install CompizConfig Settings Manager:

To open terminal hit Alt+Ctrl+T and run following commands:

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

Or search for compizconfig-settings-manager in Software Center and install from there.

Then go to System Tools > Preferences > CompizConfig, if you can't find System Tools, look for CompizConfig Settings Manager in Unity Dash.

Go at the very bottom where it says Windows Management

Put a check-mark in Application Switcher

That should fix it.

Go to System Tools > Preferences > CompizConfig or search forCompizConfig Settings Manager in Unity Dash. Then, Windows Manager-Application Switcher. click on Next window-alt-tab click it. click on ''Grab key Combination'', here actually use alt+tab, & it will grab it. OK

  • 2
    Work great! But it is totally crazy! How could I have figured it out from nowhere?...
    – Mike Aski
    Jun 13, 2012 at 8:47
  • 1
    Unfortunately this didn't work for me, not even in conjunction with disabling the Unity Switcher, but Gordon's suggestion did. Jul 13, 2012 at 18:07
  • 1
    @Matthew Finally got it to work: in ccsm > Ubuntu Unity Plugin > Switcher, ensure <Alt>Tab is set for "Key to start the switcher", then "Back", then click the checkbox (to get it checked) near Ubuntu Unity Plugin - after a few warnings and key conflicts resolution, that should work!
    – Déjà vu
    Oct 15, 2012 at 5:31
  • Better yet for gnome classic users: when log in, just ensure (click the foot icon) to start Gnome classic No effects. The no-effect version seems to have Alt-tab working.
    – Déjà vu
    Oct 15, 2012 at 5:49
  • 1
    In case de Application Switcher is not present, also run "sudo apt-get install compiz-plugins-extra" Sep 26, 2014 at 19:13

I have Ubuntu 12.04 with gnome-classic (without effects, so no Compiz) and the above doesn't work.

The fix, from here is actually easier than you'd expect:

  • Go to 'Applications','System Tools','System Settings'
  • Click 'Keyboard'
  • Click the 'Shortcuts Tab'
  • Click 'Navigation' on the left
  • In the right-hand pane click on 'Switch applications' and press Alt-Tab to assign that as the accelerator.
  • 1
    Im also using gnome-classic, my shortcut for switch application is alt+tab and it still does not work... ?
    – Pierre
    Oct 11, 2012 at 14:57
  • 1
    Same problem here.
    – Déjà vu
    Oct 15, 2012 at 4:41
  • 1
    It stopped working for me as well. I ended up removing .gconf* and .gnome2* folders - it started working. Proper fix would be to remove or edit one of the configuration files, but I do not have time to investigate Dec 3, 2012 at 12:21
  • it works for me on VB Ubuntu
    – Coc
    Dec 30, 2012 at 4:51

In case Application switcher, doesnt work (like the 1st answer), check the static application switcher in CCSM. It works fine for me.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .