I'm using Ubuntu GNOME 16.04 with GNOME Shell 3.18.5.

I have just switched from XFCE to GNOME, and I am used to pressing Alt+Space and then C to close a window, Alt + Space and then X to maximize, etcetera. But in GNOME, I can't press those keys for those actions, because they aren't underlined:

The Window Menu

and I have to scroll through with the arrow keys or click. Is there a way to enable those shortcuts?

  • They can, if applying them on the active window would work for you. Not necessarily by the same shortcuts. Which of the functions would you use specifically? Dec 29, 2016 at 22:22
  • 2
    @JacobVlijm Alt+Space and X to maximize; Alt+Space and C to close.
    – EMBLEM
    Dec 29, 2016 at 23:06

3 Answers 3


I find that is easy to remap the GNOME shortcut to achieve the same thing, but mapping 3 keys is unsupported of you use the space key, it appears, so there are two options that I know:

The first is remapping the close window command; currently in “Ctrl + Q” or “Alt + F4” to “ Alt + C”. You can do this by going to Settings -> Devices -> Keyboard and then scrolling to the Close window command, then remapping the command, then again, you can only type two keys. Do the same to maximize window, to “Alt + X”


There is an extension for adding back those shortcuts https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/1695/menu-keyboard-shortcut/

<​rant>Gosh, GNOME is so annoying, they should have bi-monthly meetings about new ways to irritate users...<​/rant>


You can use gnome global shortcuts to achieve your desired behaviour. The following page gives details of all the available options.


Here is a summary:

To change the key or keys to be pressed for a keyboard shortcut:
Open the Activities overview and start typing Keyboard.
Click on Keyboard to open the panel.
Select the Shortcuts tab.
Select a category in the left pane, and the row for the desired action on the right. The current shortcut definition will change to New accelerator…
Hold down the desired key combination, or press Backspace to clear.

Currently Alt+F4 is the designated shortcut for window closing. Super + up arrow is for maximizing. You can click on these to change them as you wish (Alt + space +c).

  • 2
    This is useful but not sufficient for the issue. To many windows users, alt-space n, alt-space x etc are pretty much muscle memory, and the window menu takes focus anyway, so there's little reason those mnemonics shouldn't work. Do you know if that requires compile-time changes to gnome or could be scripted?
    – sapht
    Oct 13, 2017 at 10:54

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