I find it kinda slow to have to wait for the animation when all the instances of a program (e.g. all open firefox windows) are placed as thumbnails over the screen. Is there a faster/smoother way to switch between instances of a program without having to alt+Tab through ALL programs? Or an easy way to speed up or prevent the animation?

Thanks for any suggestions :)

  • What version of Ubuntu are you using?
    – Isaiah
    Aug 13, 2013 at 16:07
  • Distributor ID: Ubuntu Description: Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS Release: 18.04 Codename: bionic Perfectly works with alt+`
    – Doogle
    Oct 7, 2018 at 8:43

4 Answers 4


Try using alt+`. This can be used with alt+Tab to switch between instances of other open programs.

  • sounds nice, but unfortunately I have a german keyboard layout. there the backtick is only accessible via pressing the shift key and the forward tick key at the same time. in short: the shortcut doesn't work
    – sotix
    Aug 13, 2013 at 15:46

If you keep pressed Super, it shows Alt+\ to switch to another window of the same application, but I have an italian keyboard so I don't know if it works for other configs.

Probably, in your keyboard layout you should use Alt+key-above-tab

  • 1
    That "key above tabe" was the hint I needed :D thanks very much
    – sotix
    Aug 13, 2013 at 16:28
  • "key-above-tab", I found that hilarious. It's called tick(lowercase) or tilde(uppercase)
    – shriek
    Mar 13, 2015 at 22:23
  • 1
    @shriek: if your read carefully, I intend whatever key is in that position, depending on the country of the keyboard.
    – enzotib
    Mar 14, 2015 at 6:45
  • Is it possible to keep the menu opened even when stop pressing alt ?
    – hous
    Oct 21, 2017 at 19:00

You can position the mouse cursor over the launcher icon and turn the scroll-wheel to rapidly flick through instances of the application. Alt+` (the "backtick" key) does the same thing, but displays thumbnails of the app instances while you're switching.

  • that sounds like something I am looking, unfortunately it doesn't seem to work. do I need to configure something for this?
    – sotix
    Aug 13, 2013 at 15:46
  • It's a new feature in Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring). I guess you're using an earlier version? Aug 13, 2013 at 16:32
  • Yes I do. Sorry I can't upvote, because of not enough reputation:( Thank you anyway :)
    – sotix
    Aug 13, 2013 at 16:50

A note for KDE users: the default shortcut for this feature is Alt+`, which, by the way, is not very practical for some keyboard layouts (german, italian for example).

To change this to Alt+\ (as it is the default in Unity) go to:

  • System settings
  • Keyboard shorcuts
  • Global keyboard shortcuts
  • Among KDE components Select "KWin"
  • Search for the character `. It should appear the "Switch between window application" shortcut.
  • Change the default shortcut with your preferred key combination (I used Alt+\)

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