I want to be able to use Alt+Tab or Alt+` to switch back to a previous window AND at the same time start moving the mouse to where I will be clicking, without it all switching to the wrong window just because I happen to move the mouse over the application switcher bar before I release the Alt key.

It is not so much a problem when swapping to the previous window I was using, but when I want to switch 2 or 3 windows back, this will often happen, and cause a break in concentration.

Any way to do disable this mouse interference? Maybe via kernel re-compilation?

  • 1
    Another annoying side effect is when an app is repositioning the mouse to the center of the screen when losing focus eg. games running in a window (try with minecraft) then a quick blind alt+tab immediately selects the app by the current mouse position. Whatever app icon the app switcher is showing in the center of the screen instead of the previous one even without physically touching the mouse.
    – 3ronco
    Nov 25, 2017 at 8:43
  • 1
    I feel answers to this question could give insights on many more such ubuntu tweaks and also foster the spirit of open source. Regardless, I have to face this annoyance on a daily basis, so I do have an axe to grind. Nov 26, 2019 at 12:46
  • Sounds like making a work-around for bad behaviour (keeping your pointer in the center of the screen while alt-tabbing and not releasing alt-tab before moving the mouse). Seems like an easy non-technical fix is needed ;)
    – Jakke
    Jun 13 at 12:57

2 Answers 2


I don't think this is possible directly. The whole point of a graphical user interface is to use the mouse.

However, depending on your desktop environment you can change the style of the Alt-Tab switcher. For example in Cinnamon there are the Coverflow and Timeline styles for the Alt-Tab switcher where passing over with a mouse has no effect on the selected application. In Unity you may be able to change it by using the compiz setting manager (sudo apt install compizconfig-settings-manager and compiz-plugins-extra).


I'm not sure if this is exactly what you're asking, but it does hide the mouse, when it's not being used.

Give unclutter a try.

I have the following in my /etc/profile to start it on login:

#Hide mouse while typing
if ! pidof unclutter; then

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .