Keyboard navigation

This page details keyboard navigation for people who cannot use a mouse or other pointing device, or who want to use a keyboard as much as possible. For keyboard shortcuts that are useful to all users, see Useful keyboard shortcuts instead.

If you cannot use a pointing device like a mouse, you can control the mouse pointer using the numeric keypad on your keyboard. See Click and move mouse pointer using the keypad for details.

Navigate user interfaces

Tab and Ctrl+Tab

Move keyboard focus between different controls. Ctrl+Tab moves between groups of controls, such as from a sidebar to the main content. Ctrl+Tab can also break out of a control that uses Tab itself, such as a text area.

Hold down Shift to move focus in reverse order.

Arrow keys

Move selection between items in a single control, or among a set of related controls. Use the arrow keys to focus buttons in a toolbar, select items in a list or icon view, or select a radio button from a group.

In a tree view, use the left and right arrow keys to collapse and expand items with children.

Ctrl+Arrow keys

In a list or icon view, move the keyboard focus to another item without changing which item is selected.

Shift+Arrow keys

In a list or icon view, select all items from the currently selected item to the newly focused item.

Space

Activate a focused item such as a button, check box, or list item.

Ctrl+Space

In a list or icon view, select or deselect the focused item without deselecting other items.

Alt

Hold down the Alt key to reveal accelerators: underlined letters on menu items, buttons, and other controls. Press Alt plus the underlined letter to activate a control, just as if you had clicked on it.

Esc

Exit a menu, popup, switcher, or dialog window.

F10

Open the first menu on the menubar of a window. Use the arrow keys to navigate the menus.

Super+F10

Open the application menu on the top bar.

Shift+F10 or Menu

Pop up the context menu for the current selection, as if you had right-clicked.

Ctrl+F10

In the file manager, pop up the context menu for the current folder, as if you had right-clicked on the background and not on any item.

Ctrl+PageUp and Ctrl+PageDown

In a tabbed interface, switch to the tab to the left or right.

Navigate the desktop

Alt+F1 or the Super key

Switch between the Activities overview and desktop. In the overview, start typing to instantly search your applications, contacts, and documents.

Super+Tab

Quickly switch between windows. Hold down Shift for reverse order.

Super+`

Switch between windows from the same application, or from the selected application after Super+Tab.

This shortcut uses ` on US keyboards, where the ` key is above Tab. On all other keyboards, the shortcut is Super plus the key above Tab.

Ctrl+Alt+Tab

Give keyboard focus to the top bar. In the Activities overview, switch keyboard focus between the top bar, dash, windows overview, applications list, search field, and message tray. Use the arrow keys to navigate.

Super+Page Up and Super+Page Down

Switch between workspaces.

Alt+F6

Cycle through windows in the same application. Hold down the Alt key and press F6 until the window you want is highlighted, then release Alt. This is similar to the Alt+` feature.

Alt+Esc

Cycle through all open windows on a workspace.

Super+M

Open the message tray. Press Esc to close.

Navigate windows

Alt+F4

Close the current window.

Alt+F5 or Super+

Restore a maximized window to its original size. Use Alt+F10 to maximize. Alt+F10 both maximizes and restores.

Alt+F7

Move the current window. Press Alt+F7, then use the arrow keys to move the window. Press Enter to finish moving the window, or Esc to return it to its original place.

Alt+F8

Resize the current window. Press Alt+F8, then use the arrow keys to resize the window. Press Enter to finish resizing the window, or Esc to return it to its original size.

Super+Shift+Page Up and Super+Shift+Page Down

Move the current window to a different workspace.

Super+Shift+

Move the current window one monitor to the left.

Super+Shift+

Move the current window one monitor to the right.

Alt+F10 or Super+

Maximize a window. Press Alt+F10 or Super+ to restore a maximized window to its original size.

Super+H

Minimize a window.

Super+

Maximize a window vertically along the left side of the screen. Press again to restore the window to its previous size. Press Super+ to switch sides.

Super+

Maximize a window vertically along the right side of the screen. Press again to restore the window to its previous size. Press Super+ to switch sides.

Alt+Space

Pop up the window menu, as if you had right-clicked on the titlebar.