After pressing Alt + Tab (and holding Alt to keep the application-level windows in view), the Q key immediately closes all windows of the highlighted application. Firefox for instance doesn't ask for confirmation1 — I prefer clearing all browsing data when closing the browser2 and have lost several sessions (profiles) when accidentally hitting Q (which presumably is located next to Tab on most keyboard layouts).

I don't have any real use for this Gnome shortcut and would only benefit from disabling it entirely.

1 'Confirm before quitting with Ctrl+Q' in the Firefox settings
2 'Delete cookies and site data when Firefox is closed' in the Firefox settings

Gnome 43.2

1 Answer 1


I had the same issue as a new Gnome user and it drove me mad not finding this in the Gnome settings for keyboard shortcuts. I've always had Super+Q to close windows previously.

Anyway, I found a solution from a Reddit post to disable this default action. Apparently it's implemented by Gnome apps and not the window manager.

To override it, you can create a custom keyboard shortcut that maps Ctrl+Q to something benign like the true command which does nothing and returns successfully. See man 1 true.

Gnome settings config

  • You appear to have addressed the Ctrl+Q hotkey. I was asking about the Gnome window switcher (Alt+Tab / Super+Tab).
    – user598527
    Feb 21 at 15:27
  • @user598527 Ah, sorry I missed that. Btw this happens on my system too. Perhaps you could reassign the default shortcut for switching windows so you don't accidentally end up pressing Q. Feb 21 at 16:09

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