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This question already has an answer here:

I am using Debian 8 Jessie with Gnome 3. I can't move the windows of the bottom panel. I just want to rearranged them but it doesn't work. I click one of them and try to move it but nothing happend.

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marked as duplicate by don_crissti, GAD3R, Stephen Rauch, Romeo Ninov, Satō Katsura Oct 29 '17 at 19:23

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The tabs work in a chronological order of opening and active and let's say you have 4 applications 'A', 'B', 'C', 'D' launched in the same order. Gnome3 will display this as A-B-C-D.

Now if you access B again, the order of recently active changes and will change to A-C-D-B. To see this in action now, follow the steps below:

Press Alt + F2 and then type r, press enter.

Again to stress that this works purely chronologically, let the tabs which are alphabetically chosen as above be arranged on your panel as D-B-A-C and now you want them to be arranged as A-B-C-D. So maximise/open the apps in the same order (i.e. A-B-C-D) and

Press Alt + F2 and then type r, press enter.

Unfortunately, with classic Gnome 3 the feature you're looking for is still not available.

To stick to the old feature of just dragging the tabs across, you might want to install an extension from https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/898/mmod-panel/ and switch off the window-list extension.

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