How to add ‘Minimize & Maximize’ Buttons Easily in Gnome Shell

Like most other GNU/Linux users, I’m sure you’re too one of those users who’s really pisse* off because Gnome Shell developers decided to remove those beloved ‘minimize & maximize’ buttons from the application windows.

Having a single button (‘Close’) doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me either. Because whenever I’m using multiple applications, I too usually run into nothing but troubles. So, quite recently I decided to try Gnome Shell one more time, and this time I decided to add that missing ingredient ;-), the ‘minimize’ button.

I didn’t add the ‘maximize’ button, because I actually don’t miss it that much as I’m quite used to maximizing and restoring applications by dragging the hell out of them (just like in Windows ‘Aero’).

Anyway, after adding the ‘minimize’ button, I gotta be honest with you, dealing with multiple applications in Gnome Shell has become so much easier, and I’m loving it!.


So if you wanna try it out, then there are many ways that you can achieve this, but the most easiest way is to use a GUI tool called ‘Gnome Tweak Tool‘ (I’m pretty sure you’ve heard about it). I don’t think its older versions had this feature, I’m using the 3.4x version, and there’s an option that lets me easily add a:

*. Minimize button.

*. Maximize button or

*. Add both Minimize and Maximize buttons to the window title-bars, so altogether, ‘the lovely 3’ are now back together :).

Now, depending on your GNU/Linux distribution, the commands will change slightly. So,

If you use Ubuntu or Debian (or any distribution that uses the ‘apt-get’ package manager) and have already installed Gnome Shell, then enter the below command to install the ‘gnome-tweak-tool’.

sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool

If you use Fedora, then enter the below command

yum install gnome-tweak-tool

Adding them buttons …

1. After that, search for the ‘gnome-tweak-tool’ in the ‘Search box’ under the ‘Activities Overview’ window and launch it.

2. Now in its main window, from the left, click on the text option called ‘Shell’.


3. Now to your right side, under ‘Arrangement of the buttons on the title-bar’ option, click on its drop-down menu and chose your preferred option (I usually only add the ‘minimize’ button). That’s it.

Now close that window and your applications should have received the new buttons immediately!. Enjoy.

An RHCE, 'Linux' user with 14+ years of experience. Extreme lover of Linux and FOSS. He is passionate to test every Linux distribution & compare with the previous release to write in-depth articles to help the FOSS community.

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