I was using workplace switching for a long time and it suddenly stopped working today. Even after a fresh install, (some config left over as I preserved my /home folder).

Super + S still raises to show all work-spaces.

Clicking on a task-bar icon representing a window in another work-space no longer switches to that workspace + window.

Ctrl + Alt + (any direction) no longer works.

Ctrl + Shift - Alt - (any direction) no longer works.

I've verified that those key combos are registering by redundantly re-assigning the shortcut mappings.


6 Answers 6


Did another search today and found this: Can't switch workspaces

The advice to go to Compiz ccsm and activate Desktop Wall fixes the problem immediately.

What a relief !

  • 3
    This didn't work for me. Why are there so many different ways to enable workspaces that all don't work? I wish the Ubuntu team would stop adding stupid fluff to the OS and just focus on making it work properly.
    – Jake
    Mar 26, 2017 at 22:42
  • 1
    these days im using unity tweak tool-- havent experienced this issue in some time. Mar 27, 2017 at 5:02
  • I tried the Unity Tweak Tool on a fresh install just yesterday. Doesn't work either.
    – Jake
    Mar 28, 2017 at 5:49
  • Even more mysterious: worked for a long time and was still working for another user on same system, having changed nothing. Suddenly stopped working. This fix worked for me. Thanks a bunch!
    – bytepusher
    Apr 25, 2017 at 22:48
  • Worked for me. I had to install CompizConfig Settings Manager. Annoying this broke in the first place
    – Robert3452
    Mar 10, 2018 at 14:16

I am experiencing the same problem, so I have filed a bug on launchpad.


Try the following.

sudo apt-get install dconf-tools

dconf reset -f /org/compiz/

This worked for me

  • I was using 18.04 and it worked for me as well.
    – ssi-anik
    Nov 25, 2020 at 2:27

It didn't work for me... but this one worked in my case See section Desktop Size
Check if your Desktop Size ain't set to 1x1.
Compiz > General > "General settings" > Desktop size (I'd to expand to see that one) enter image description here Thanks to LIttle Ancient Forest Kami


I had a similar problem: the workspace switcher stopped working out of the blue. Enabling workspace switching using Compiz config settings manager didn't work. There was no visible change.

Installing Unity tweak tool, and enabling workspaces there worked for me.

In Unity Tweak Tool -> Workspace Settings : Set worskapce switcher to ON and select number of workspaces.


I'm using gnome desktop instead of unity in Ubuntu 16.04 and I had to install Compiz Config Settings Manager and its listed under the Applications menu - System Tools - Preferences. Then in Compiz Config Settings Manager, go to the General Options - Desktop Size tab and set your row settings and it should work immediately.

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