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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?

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  • 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

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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

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  • 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
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    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
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    @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
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    In case de Application Switcher is not present, also run "sudo apt-get install compiz-plugins-extra" Sep 26, 2014 at 19:13
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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.
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    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
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    Same problem here.
    – Déjà vu
    Oct 15, 2012 at 4:41
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    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
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In case Application switcher, doesnt work (like the 1st answer), check the static application switcher in CCSM. It works fine for me.

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