If you’re new to Elementary OS, especially if you’re from a Windows operating system (or similar to Windows), you might be confused about how to minimize windows in Elementary OS. Although it sounds like a simple task, there is no minimize button for you to click on, making it an almost impossible task. Here we will explain how window minimization works in Elementary OS and how to change this behavior if it doesn’t suit you.
Okay, so how do you minimize a window in basic OS?
Whether you launched an application from the dock at the bottom of the screen or launched it from the Applications menu at the top of the screen, an icon for that application should be in the dock below.
Click the icon to minimize the window. If you want to use a shortcut key, press To win + H.
Click the icon again to reactivate it. Here’s the quick answer, and if that’s all you wanted to know, you can stop reading here.
But for our more patient readers, wait a second, because the dock system is an elegant interface that deserves to be explored properly. When used as intended, the dock becomes the central driving force behind Elementary OS: you launch your apps from it, you control your windows with it – the dock is what connects the desktop and is designed to be adapted to your habits.
To get the most out of the dock, you need to remove all the icons you don’t use and add the icons you want. For anything you won’t use, right-click the icon and uncheck the box that says, “Keep in the Dock.” The icon will then disappear and the dock will shorten.
For everything you want to add to the dock, first open the Applications menu. You can now add the program to your dock by clicking and dragging the application from the menu on the dock or by right-clicking on the application and choosing “Add to Dock” from the menu.
Compare the default dock layout:
… With a dock adapted to the habits of the user:
Once customized to your tastes, the dock only serves the apps and functions you really use, driving everything from one place. It is clean, simple and elegant.
Alright but i want an actual minimize button
Minimalism is not for everyone, and sometimes there are features that you want to bring back. Elementary Tweaks lets you add a minimize button and gives advanced users extra control over the user interface. To install Elementary Tweaks, simply run the following three commands:
Once installed, open System Settings and in the Personal section, open Tweaks.
In the Appearance section, look for Layout in the Window Controls field. Open the drop-down list, from which you can choose multiple window layouts with minimization buttons, such as macOS, Windows and Ubuntu.
Beyond adding a simple minimize button, Elementary OS also has a full set of keyboard shortcuts built into its interface. These really add power to the office and are great for machines where mouse input can be cumbersome, like ultra-mobile PCs.
Press the Windows button to display a list of the most important key combinations – a super cool feature that we’d love to see on other desktops!
Still not convinced of the Elementary interface? Is it a little too Mac for your tastes? Check out our list of the best Linux distributions for Windows users. If you’re still exploring Linux, check out some of the best Linux distributions for beginners.
Is this article useful?