I've just switched from Gnome to xfce, and I'd like to know how to stop the active window moving when I change workspace. e.g. I have my internet browser selected then change to another workspace, the workspace will change but the internet browser will also move to that new workspace.

Is this supposed to happen? Is there a setting somewhere I can use to stop it?


This shouldn't happen if you move to the other workspace from the workspace switcher (top right usually). Make sure your window is not defined to appear always on the visible workspace (main window menu in upper left corner of the window title bar). (the right setting for what you want is "Appears only in this workspace").

See also if the window isn't fixed (appears on all workspaces). This is applied when you click on the small left icon (pin or cirle usually) on the window title bar next to the "main window menu" (with maximize ... close) in the corner. This button is not always there as it depends on themes and config.

  • Yes it didn't happen when I used the workspace switcher. The problem was I was using keyboard shortcuts and had bound keys to the wrong actions. Solved. – Henry Gibson Dec 18 '12 at 15:53
  • Easier to fix! :) Glad you found it. If you need more xfce configurations, when you can't find them in menus you can try "Configuration Editor" in Main Menu -> Configurations. – laurent Dec 18 '12 at 15:57
  • 1
    The default shortcut to change workspace on xfce is Ctrl-Alt-Arrow (right/left/up/down) – laurent Dec 18 '12 at 16:01
  • Just FYI - I struggled with this problem for a while before realizing what was wrong. I applied Alt-1, Alt-2 keys to switch desktops. Then I applied Alt-Shift-1 to "move current window to desktop 1". XFCE could not handle this, but instead gave me the problem described in this question. I removed the Alt-Shift keys and the Alt-# keys started working as expected. I would call this a bug in XFCE. – moodboom Apr 29 '14 at 21:36

By default, xfce comes with at least two set of key combinations to switch workspaces.

  1. Ctrl-Alt-Numpad will move the active window to the workspace number pressed on the number keypad.
  2. Ctrl-Func will move to the workspace indicated by the Function key number pressed, leaving the active window behind.

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