I pressed Mod+S and my windows flatted into a stack of bars. How can I undo this action or expand them back into their original configuration? The best route I found was to individually select each window and to Mod+Shift+arrow key to split horizontally. Surely there's a trick I'm missing?

  • It would greatly help you get an answer if you provided any information on your setup such as the actual operating system and window manager you use. – Julie Pelletier Nov 13 '16 at 22:04
  • 3
    @JuliePelletier, it's tagged as i3... and this is a basic function of i3 no matter the underlying OS – Wolf Nov 13 '16 at 22:05

You can switch between three modes:

  • $mod+S for stacking mode
  • $mod+W for tabbed mode
  • $mod+E for standard mode (aka splith/splitv - the one you seek)

More info on the User Guide.


$mod+e should switch to tiling mode again.

  • Tried that to no avail, but perhaps I had to select the whole stack or something first? – Wolf Nov 15 '16 at 18:32

Answers here are correct but you need to make sure you're switching modes from the same window where you started it. For a simple test, do the following.

  • Open two windows in tiled mode
  • $mod + s on window1
  • Switch to window2
  • $mod + e on window2 # Doesn't work
  • $mod + w on window2 # Doesn't work
  • Switch to window1
  • $mod + e on window1 # Works!
  • $mod + w on window1 # Works!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.