Is there a keyboard shortcut, or can I somehow bind a shortcut, to switch between windows within an application (similar to opt+~ on macOS)?

Ideally, I'd like Alt+Tab to be unaffected or to be rebound to switch between applications (not between windows).

  • In Windows, this key is CTRL + F6 (FYI for context on what is being asked).
    – CJBS
    May 16, 2019 at 5:36

8 Answers 8


The existing shortcut is Alt + key above TAB

Depending on your keyboard key above TAB could be §, `, º, ^, ², etc.

  • 10
    On other keyboards the key is also known as '~' or '`' key.
    – elomage
    Nov 7, 2013 at 9:36
  • 3
    On my azerty french keyboards, the key above the Tab key is a small "2" and it works.
    – Deleplace
    Jun 17, 2014 at 13:31
  • 3
    This is nice when you're already in the app of the window. If you're in another window, you need to to use the regular alt+tab and wait on the multiple window app to see the multiple windows of that app. Nov 14, 2014 at 10:29
  • 3
    Needless to say that what I wrote above is a slow way of switching between windows. Don't know why Ubuntu copied this bad behavior from Apple :( Nov 14, 2014 at 10:30
  • 2
    In german layout it is ALT + ^ which is right above the TAB key
    – rubo77
    Dec 19, 2015 at 17:13

You should press Alt and the key just above the Tab key.

From comments, this is the key you should be pressed by keyboard layout:

  • Spanish ALT + º.
  • German ALT + ^.
  • Azerty french ALT + ².

In others may be ALT + § o ALT + ` (I don't know from where they come)


If someone looking to bind to a different key combination, It can be done in settings. On Ubuntu 18.04.3, go to

settings > Devices > Keyboard >

Under Keyboard Shortcuts scroll to Navigation and click on Switch windows of an application change the key combination and set it. I have changed mine to Ctrl+` (the key above Tab)

  • In my case the shortcut was set to Super+`, but Alt+` was also working. But I had the ` symbol also mapped for another key, not that one above tab, and the shortcuts didn't work with this key. I just manually remapped the binding in settings to Super+` (the same as default) and the another key started working too
    – Dany
    Mar 29, 2021 at 8:09
  1. To go to the active application: ALT+TAB
  2. If multiple instance of the selected applications are opened and you want to navigate among them use : ALT+`
  • same as accepted answer
    – Félicien
    Feb 26, 2018 at 9:25
  • What's nice here is how the two work together. Want a specific window of a different application? Press alt and keep it down, tab until that application is highlighted, then press [key above tab] until it gets the right window, then release alt and you're there Jul 8, 2020 at 10:06

Opt + Tab will switch between windows of different applications running. CTRL + Tab will switch between windows within the same application.

At least this is how it is running Ubuntu on my Macbook.


Ctrl+PageUp and Ctrl+PageDown switches between panes or windows in Ubuntu applications, such as Nautilus.

Ctrl+TAB will also sometimes switch between windows (or tabs), for example in Google Chrome.


Another way is to hover over the icon of the program in the sidenav/side bar of ubuntu and scroll using the scroll wheel of the mouse, this way will make you go through all the open instances of the program, it would be ideal if you have only two, helpful if you have more than two. I use it with vscode usually because I always have more than one open.

  • when someone is asking about a keyboard shortcut, it's because they don't want to move their hands off of the keyboard, not because they don't know of another way to achieve what they want to do. at least that's why I would ask about a keyboard shortcut (and why my googling led me to this page)
    – Phil
    Dec 4, 2018 at 0:33

This differs in various keyboard layouts, but usually it is the key right above the TAB key.

In the german and spanish layout it is ALT+°

This is quite handy, this way you can easily access both switches.

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