I like the behavior of Gnome-Shell's Alt-Tab window changer, but there is a slight delay when pressing Alt + Tab, which bothers me. Is there any way to make it pop up immediately, or at least, decrease the delay?

  • 2
    I think the slight delay is there by design, so if one wants to quickly switch back and forth between two windows via Alt+Tab, for example, then it doesn't have to waste time showing the switcher for a fraction of a second. Just thought I'd point out this is probably not a performance issue on the switcher's part, but an intended feature. Feb 22, 2012 at 23:47
  • It can be a performance issue. My setup at this moment is lagging for a full half-second before showing the popup and also before hiding the popup. Now I will restart gnome-shell using ALT+F2 "r". Now, it's back to being snappy again. All I did was restart.
    – jonS90
    Oct 12, 2013 at 20:10

3 Answers 3


Well, you can change that in the .js file of the alt-tab.



Almost at the beginning of the file, is this line

const POPUP_DELAY_TIMEOUT = 150; // milliseconds

Change it, save and restart the gnome-shell (Alt+F2 type 'r', or logout and login again).

  • Perfect answer. It's elegant and it works. Apr 6, 2012 at 13:07
  • 1
    Does this persist across (Gnome Shell) updates? However I just checked and in Ubuntu 17.10 there is no js folder inside /usr/share/gnome-shell
    – davcri
    Mar 7, 2018 at 13:49

Since gnome 3.12, the Javascript UI files are embedded inside libgnome-shell.so. See this post.


As of 13.10, this setting is now located in /usr/share/gnome-shell/js/ui/switcherPopup.js.

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