Gnome `Alt+Shift` and `Alt+Shift+Tab`

After installing Debian Jessie with Gnome 3.14, I noticed an annoying bug: When I tried to switch windows using Alt+Tab it worked as it should, but when I tried to switch in reverse order, using Alt+shit+Tab it did not work. I quickly figured out that the problem lies in the frequently used shortcut, Alt+Shift for switching keyboard layouts. Indeed, when I tried cycling through windows, I switched keyboard layouts instead.

The gist of the solution was found after some searching in Stack Exchange albeit it needs some adjustment for newer version of Gnome: Start the Gnome’s Tweak Tool and select Typing from the Tweaks menu. Under “Miscellaneous compatibility options” select “Shift cancels Caps Lock”.


This fixed the issue for me, without any side-effects. I don’t need to use Shift-Alt instead of Alt-Shift as suggested in the original solution and neither the Shift key cancels the Caps Lock as may be suggested by this option.

Update 2020-06-08: In Gnome 3.36 the relevant setting appears under Keyboard & Mouse -> Additional Layout Options -> Miscellaneous compatibility options.

8 thoughts on “Gnome `Alt+Shift` and `Alt+Shift+Tab`”

  1. I had a similar problem, and I switched to Windows-space, which is also similar to how it works on Macs. (Macs are less popular in Israel, but very popular in California where our office is.)

  2. It worked like magic. This bug was very annoying.
    Thank you very much.

  3. Thanks for the useful post, Guy!
    When I try it now on Plasma 5.19 it works well apart from one thing: Alt+Shift does not change the keyboard layout, and one indeed has to use Shift+Alt. Are you experiencing the same with Gnome? Do you know of a solution to that? Thanks in advance!

  4. Thank you, your advice is a real magic! It works on Ubuntu 22.04.1 LTS today, 16th of January 2023.

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