Alt+Tab to Switch Windows Only on Current Workspace in GNOME Shell

Here is how to force GNOME Shell to switch between active apps only on the current workspace when pressing the Alt+Tab shortcut.

By default in Gnome Alt+Tab switches windows on all workspaces. If you prefer to have many workspaces with few windows on each, this behavior does not work well. Maybe you want to switch windows on the active workspace only.

When googling for the Alt Tab Workspace extension is the top result. The code on GitHub turns out that the following command does the trick:

gsettings set current-workspace-only true
gsettings set current-workspace-only trueCode language: CSS (css)

To erase it, go back to default settings:

dconf reset /org/gnome/shell/window-switcher/current-workspace-only
dconf reset /org/gnome/shell/app-switcher/current-workspace-onlyCode language: JavaScript (javascript)

Switching the Windows Only on Current Workspace in GNOME Shell

Another fast and easy solution, without any installations/extensions, is to use Dconf Editor.

Dconf Editor is a tool for viewing and editing a GNOME application’s internal settings. In addition, it enables the editing of options that are not visible in the interface of some applications.

However, be aware that It’s a powerful tool that, if misused, can break some applications, and you should only use it with that in mind.

1. Install dconf-editor (already installed on current Debian/Ubuntu distributions):

sudo apt install dconf-editor

2. Open dconf-editor (from the Dash or a Terminal)

3. Navigate to: org -> gnome -> shell -> app-switcher

4. Set current-workspace-only to On by toggling the switch.

GNOME Dconf Editor

That’s it. When switching between windows in GNOME, you will only see the windows that are in use on your current workspace.

Related: Restrict Alt+Tab to the Current Monitor in GNOME Shell

I hope this quick and short guide has been helpful to you.

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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