I recently upgraded my system to GNOME 3. In previous versions of GNOME, the key combination Ctrl+Alt+D would hide all open windows and show the Desktop. This shortcut was eliminated from GNOME 3 along with the concept of a Desktop. The Desktop metaphor does, however, exist in GNOME 3 "fallback mode" (which I am using).

I would like to reinstate the Ctrl+Alt+D keyboard shortcut. I know at least two ways of creating key combinations in GNOME. One is through System Settings > Keyboard > Shortcuts, and the other is through gconf-editor > apps > metacity. From either of these environments, I can pair a command with the key combination Ctrl+Alt+D. The problem is that I don't know what command will trigger a "Show Desktop" event. Could someone enlighten me?

2 Answers 2


System Settings > Keyboard > Shortcuts > Navigation > Hide all normal windows

Click the second field which says Disabled and type in a key combination of choice (e.g., Ctrl+Alt+D).

System restart may be required for changes to take effect.

  • 6
    System restart is not needed.
    – Alex
    Sep 28, 2012 at 14:53
  • At worst, if the changes don't take effect, simply restart gnome shell.
    – user93692
    Oct 24, 2016 at 1:16
  • no restart is needed
    – munish
    May 20, 2018 at 15:14

In mint13 the shortcut as default is Ctrl+Super+D.

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