The problem with Alt-Tab is that it only shows you icons, and also groups windows of one app which are slow to separate.

Also, the Super-W view showing all the windows at a reduced resolution is also difficult to choose the right window as the text may not be clear.

What would be ideal, is a shortcut to simply cycle through the windows, showing them in their full view. Is this possible? And if so how does one do it?

  • If you are using Unity add the unity tag
    – userDepth
    Commented May 14, 2016 at 23:14

4 Answers 4


You can make use of the key above Tab, if you are using a US keyboard layout that would be Alt+`. It cycles through the windows.

  • It doesn't quite cycle through them - it switches windows, but if you then use it again, it switches you back to the window you were just on. So you can't use it to cycle through while seeing the full view as OP is requesting. If you press it repeatedly while holding Alt down so that the window is never actually selected, then it cycles, but then you don't get to see the full view. I would prefer it to actually cycle, not toggle, on repeated use (the way you can in OSX). Commented Jul 18, 2020 at 23:42
  • Woah - I just realised that Shift-Alt-` gives the actual cycle behaviour I was looking for! It presumably means switch to the "previous" window, but the toggle-by-default means that this will be one you have not recently visited. Commented Jul 18, 2020 at 23:49

if you install CCSM you can adjust the keybindings for application switching and the plugin used to do it to your hearts contents.

apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

if this apt can't find that package you need to enable the universe repo.

you can then run CCSM from the dash or the command line.

Not all the options are safe so i would suggest backing up your config first in the Perferences section so you can revert later if you need to.


If you are prepared to setup and use compiz, then you can use the ring switcher like in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ff9Sm-7fC6E

I use compiz on ubuntu mate, its supported by default you just need to install the control panel applet. In ubuntu you need to do a bit more work to install compiz I think.


I put this in as a comment but I'm going to put this in as an actual answer since it solved the problem for me.

Shift+Alt+` (where ` is whatever key is above your Tab key) works for me.

It is slightly different to the Alt+` suggested by @cammil as that, on repeated use, will switch you back to the window you were just using and ends up a bit fiddlier if you want to actually view all windows in full view in turn.

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