How to minimize windows in elementary OS

Elementary OS has the "maximize" button on the top right corner of windows and the "Close" button at the left. There is no minimize button. Let's add it.

By default settings of elementary OS, you see the “maximize” button on the top right corner of windows and the “Close” button at the extreme left. There is no minimize button, and for some, especially migrating from Windows OS, this could be a frustrating experience.

Also, the extreme left and right buttons of the maximum and the close buttons maybe not everyone’s taste in the first place. In this tutorial, we will help you in putting these things in a convenient location by adding the buttons, including minimizing & maximizing buttons and move them close to the top right corner of the window, just like in the Microsoft Windows.

Adding the Minimize button to elementary OS

For achieving what we are trying to do here, we shall install a handy free tool called “Elementary Tweaks”. It has a myriad of options and has a graphical user interface that should help you configure the settings in a breeze. Let’s get started first by installing the elementary-tweaks tool.

Installing Tweaks on newer elementary OS versions

Launch the Terminal and enter the following commands one-at-a-time, followed by pressing the enter key.  You will have to enter the root password and key in “Y” when prompted.

sudo apt install software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:philip.scott/elementary-tweaks
sudo apt install elementary-tweaks

After you are done with installing the “Tweaks” app, head over to the next section of this article, skip the Freya section below.

Installing Tweaks on older elementary OS (Freya & below)

In case you are still on an older version of elementary OS “Freya” or below, you need to do the following steps instead.

Step 1: Add Canonical Partners Repository

Third-party developers provide many of the useful software, and you need to turn on their sources repository in the elementary software updater settings.

Launch ‘AppCenter’ and wait for it to scan the updates.

Launch Software Updater
Launch Software Updater

Then click on ‘Settings’ to open the Software Updater settings.

Software Update Settings
Software Update Settings

In the software tab, check the box that says ‘Canonical Partners’ ‘Software packaged by Canonical for their partners.’ You will be asked to enter the administrator password and then agree to reload so that it downloads the update from the just added new repository.

Turn ON Canonical Partners Repository Soruces
Turn ON Canonical Partners Repository Sources

Step 2: Install Tweaks tool

Launch ‘Terminal’ and enter the following commands one at a time.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mpstark/elementary-tweaks-daily
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install elementary-tweaks

Terminal - Add Elementary Tweaks Daily Repository
Terminal – Add Elementary Tweaks Daily Repository

Start moving the buttons

Step 1. Now that you have “Tweaks” installed, launch it from the “Applications” menu. Alternatively, go to the ‘Settings’ app; you will see the ‘Tweak’ tool.

Tweaks Tool added to Settings App
Tweaks Tool

Step 2: Launch the tool and go to the ‘Appearance’ tab. In the drop-down list of ‘Window Controls’, select ‘Windows’.

Tweak Window Controls
Tweak Window Controls

You should immediately see all the buttons in the top right corner, including the minimize button. I hope you found this tweak useful in enhancing your experience with the elementary OS.

Kiran Kumar
Hi there! I'm Kiran Kumar, founder of FOSSLinux.com. I'm an avid Linux lover and enjoy hands-on with new promising distros. Currently, I'm using Ubuntu as a daily driver and run several other distros such as Fedora, Solus, Manjaro, Debian, and some new ones on my test PC and virtual machines. I have a day job as an Engineer, and this website is one of my favorite past time activities, especially during Winter ;). When I'm not writing for FOSSLinux, I'm seen biking and hiking on scenic trails. I hope you enjoy using this website as much as I do writing for it. Feedback from readers is something that inspires me to do more and spread Linux love!. If you find a time, drop me an email or feedback from the 'Contact' page. Or simply leave a comment below if you found this article useful. Have a good day!

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