How to Enable Click to Minimize on Ubuntu

Brief: This quick tutorial shows you how to enable click to minimize option on Ubuntu 20.04, 18.04 and other versions.

The launcher at the left hand side in Ubuntu is a handy tool for quickly accessing applications. When you click on an icon in the launcher, the application window appears in focus.

If you click again on the icon of an application already in focus, the default behavior is to do nothing. This may bother you if you expect the application window to be minimized on the second click.

Perhaps this GIF will be better in explaining the click on minimize behavior on Ubuntu.

In my opinion, this should be the default behavior but apparently, Ubuntu doesn’t think so. So what? Customization is one of the main reason why I use Linux and this behavior can also be easily changed.

In this quick tutorial, I’ll show you how to enable click to minimize on Ubuntu 18.04 and 16.04. I’ll show both command line and the GUI methods here.

Enable click to minimize on Ubuntu using command line (recommended)

This method is for Ubuntu 18.04, 20.04 and newer version users with GNOME desktop environment.

The first option is using the terminal. I recommend this way to ‘minimize on click’ even if you are not comfortable with the command line.

It’s not at all complicated. Open a terminal using Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut or searching for it in the menu. All you need is to copy paste the command below in the terminal.

gsettings set click-action 'minimize'

No need of restarting your system or any thing of that sort. You can test the minimize on click behavior immediately after it.

If you do not like ‘click to minimize’ behavior, you can set it back to default using the command below:

gsettings reset click-action

Enable click to minimize on Ubuntu using GUI tool

You can do the same steps mentioned above using a GUI tool called Dconf Editor. It is a powerful tool that allows you to change many hidden aspects of your Linux desktop. I avoid recommending it because one wrong click here and there may screw up your desktop settings. So be careful while using this tool keeping in mind that it works on single click and changes are applied immediately.

You can find and install Dconf Editor in the Ubuntu Software Center.

dconf editor in Ubuntu software center

Once installed, launch Dconf Editor and go to org -> gnome -> shell -> extensions -> dash-to-dock. Scroll down a bit until you find click-action. Click on it to access the click action settings.

In here, turn off the Use default value option and change the Custom Value to ‘minimize’.

Enable minmize to click on Ubuntu using dconf editor

You can see that the minimize on click behavior has been applied instantly.

Recommended Read:

Enable click to minimize on Ubuntu 16.04 Unity

Enable click to minimize on Ubuntu 16.04 Unity

If you are using the Unity desktop environment, you can easily do it using Unity Tweak Tool. If you have not installed it already, look for Unity Tweak Tool in Software Center and install it.

Once installed, launch Unity Tweak Tool and click on Launcher here.

Enable minmize to click using Unity Tweak Tool

Check the “Minimize single window application on click” option here.

Enable minmize to click using Unity Tweak Tool

That’s all. The change takes into effect right away.

Enable click to minimize on Ubuntu 16.04 Unity [Alternative Method]

If you are using Unity and the above method didn’t work for you, don’t worry. There is an alternative method to enable minimize on click.

First, we need to install CompizConfig Settings Manager. Open a terminal and use the following command:

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

Once installed, open CompizConfig Settings Manager from Unity Dash:

Compiz Config Settings Manager Ubuntu 14.04

Next, select Ubuntu Unity Plugin in compiz manager:

Enable minimize on click feature in Ubuntu 14.04

In here, go to the Launcher tab and check the Minimize Single Window Applications.

click to minimize Ubuntu 14.04

That’s it. No need to reboot Ubuntu or log out, it should be working straight away.

Did it work for you?

I hope this quick tip helped you to enable the minimize on click feature in Ubuntu. If you are using Ubuntu 18.04, I suggest reading GNOME customization tips for more such options.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please leave a comment. If it helped you, perhaps you could share this article on various social media platforms such as Reddit and Twitter.

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  • It worked, but when we have two instances of the same application running, when click the icon it opens both instances, we canĀ“t select which instance to open what is possible with the default behaviour.