When I try to alt-tab backwards (with shift) - elementary switches to the end of stack.


  1. I have opened 5 windows.
  2. Switched to the 4th one using alt+tab 3 times.
  3. Pressed alt+shift+tab. Now I am on the 5th window and this window is now in the beginning of the stack. If I try to press alt+shift+tab once again - it start switching windows from the end of the stack.
  • 1
    Just tried it out, the behavior is as you describe, seems inconsistent. Wouldn't you expect that when you alt tab from app1 to app2, that shift-alt-tabbing would then take you from app2 to app1? That's not what happens.
    – TKoL
    Commented Sep 13, 2016 at 12:07

3 Answers 3


I had this same issue and found out it was actually due to a conflicting keyboard shortcut with Alt+Shift which changes keyboard layout. Going to Settings > Keyboard > Layout and changing the Switch Layout binding to Alt+Caps Lock made Alt + Shift + Tab behavior consistent again.

  • 1
    These conflicting keybindings appear to be the default settings, which is a bug.
    – Russell
    Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 4:58

For me I had my shift+alt bound to Switch Layout for some reason.

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So I disabled that

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Then backwarwds shift worked again.


Same here ! I find this very annoying !

I assume elementaryOs developers do not use Alt+Tab because juste the normal Alt+Tab is very annoying too: masking all windows, showing the next windows and a fake plank ... that's not what we are used to, with other desktop and I don't see any benefit with this behaviour !

And don't tell me, it's easier for novice users: they never use Alt+Tab ! It's only for experienced users.

  • Can't agree more Commented Sep 18, 2016 at 17:59
  • Same story here, all windows disappear during alt tab, they are animated as coming from the same point, no overview only at the bottom of the screen where the dock is replaced, very unproductive / distracting / annoying
    – 4levels
    Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 8:18

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