How to Move the Close, Maximize and Minimize Buttons in Ubuntu

This guide will show you how to move the Close, Maximize and Minimize buttons in Ubuntu from one side of the window bar to the other.

Ubuntu has gone back and forth (no pun intended) regarding the location of the “Close”, “Maximize” and “Minimize” buttons that appear in the window bar of every app/screen in Ubuntu. Sometimes they’re on the right side, sometimes the left. Here are the steps to set those buttons to the left or right side of the window bar.

  1. The first thing to do is install the dconf Editor. Open a terminal and enter the command:
  2. sudo apt install dconf-editor

    an Ubuntu Terminal with an apt install command

  3. Once it’s been installed, open your App list and select dconf Editor
  4. the dconf Editor app icon

  5. Click the I’ll be careful button when the warning screen appears.
  6. an arrow pointing to a button titled I'll be careful

  7. Once dconf Editor has opened, click the Search button (the one that looks like a magnifying glass).
  8. the main dconf Editor window with an arrow pointing at the search button

  9. Enter the word button in the search field. After a moment a bunch of search results will appear. Scroll down until you find the section titled org.gnome.desktop.wp.preferences

    Inside of that section locate the line with the text ‘:minimize,maximize,close’ and double-click it.

  10. move the Ubuntu minimize maximize and close buttons

  11. Toggle the Use default value switch to the OFF position.
  12. turning the Ubuntu buttons default switch to off



  13. Once the Use default value switch is OFF, look for the Custom value field. This is where the magic happens. The location of the colon ( : ) determines the location of the Minimize, Maximize and Close buttons. If the colon is at the beginning of the minimize,maximize,close string, the buttons will be on the left side of the window bar. If the colon is at the end of the minimize,maximize,close string, the buttons will be on the right side of the window bar. Once you’ve made the change, click the green “check mark” button (see screenshot below) to apply the new setting right away.
  14. the string to move the Ubuntu window bar buttons from right to left or left to right

  15. Ta-da! The buttons will have moved to the other side of the dconf Editor app …
  16. the dconf Editor app with the buttons moved to the left side of the window

  17. and all of your other apps!
  18. an Ubuntu Terminal with the buttons on the other side

  19. If you ever want to revert your change, just open the dconf Editor again and turn the Use default value switch back ON. That’s it!

If you want to customize your Ubuntu desktop even more, check out our guide on installing Ubuntu themes!


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