Add Minimize Button In Elementary OS Freya and Luna

I am using Elementary OS Freya these days. There are several small Elementary OS’ features which some people might not like. Last week we saw how to disable that annoying single click open feature in Elementary OS, in this quick post we shall see how to add a minimize button in Elementary OS.

If you haven’t noticed till now, in Elementary OS, there is no minimize button. You can either close it from top left corner or maximize it from top right corner.


How to add minimize button in Elementary OS

We shall need Elementary Tweak tool for this purpose. Install Elementary OS using the commands below in a terminal:

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

If you are using Freya, see this post to know how to install elementary tweaks in Freya.

Go to System Settings and look for Tweaks:

Start Elementary Tweaks in Elementary OS

In here, from the left sidebar, under General section, choose Appearance. You’ll see several options in Button Layout:

add a minimize button in elementary OS Luna

Following are the options available in Button Layout and their function:

  • Elementary: Default Elementary
  • Close Only: Removes the maximize button and leaves only close button
  • Minimize Left: Adds a minimize button in the top left corner
  • Minimize right: Add a minimize button in the top right corner
  • Windows: You’ll get minimize, maximize and close button in top right corner like Windows
  • OS X: You’ll get minimize, maximize and close button in top left corner like Mac OS
  • Custom: You can use your own configuration

You can select any of Minimize, Windows or OS X. If you are a long time Windows user, choose Windows to get all the buttons on the right corner. Of course the changes done here will be applied system wide i.e. you will have the same button orientation in Files, web browsers and all other applications.

move buttons to the right

I hope this article helped you to add a minimize button to Elementary OS. Enjoy :)

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  • Never mind found it. The layout options in Tweaks are changed:

    Applications > System Tools > System Settings > Personal > Tweaks > Window Controls > Layout > OSX or Minimize Left

  • I’ve installed Tweaks, Restarted and opened:

    System Settings > Appearance

    But I do not see what you show, particularly the Button Layout option (I want the minimise button)

    I am on Elementary OS 5.1.

  • elementary OS has actually been designed to not need minimizing: apps save their state when closed, open instantly, and intelligently background when doing things like playing music. So it’s a lot like minimizing without having two very similar actions (both minimize and close).

    • There is a reason why the concept of minimizing apps has appeared in every graphical OS since Xerox Star in 1981 (which, with a probability that approaches unity, is likely since before you were born). And that is it works, is universally known, and is intuitive. As pretty as elementary OS is, it’s being unjustifiably arrogant if it thinks it’s going to rework that paradigm on its own.