We can pin our favorite and most frequently used applications on the Dock to quickly launch them in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS desktop. By default, Ubuntu dock is found in the left hand side of the desktop. You can, however, move it to top, bottom and right side of the screen. Whenever you click an application's icon on the Dock, one of the following actions will take place:
- The respective application will open if it is not already running.
- If the respective application is already running, it comes in focus.
- If the respective application is already in focus, it will not MINIMIZE. It will keep still. You need to minimize it using minimize button to see other windows on the background.
- If multiple windows of same application are running, you will see the preview of all windows. Click on any window to bring it forward.
This is the default behaviour of Ubuntu dock. In other desktop environments, for example Deepin, when I click on a launcher icon, the respective application will minimize to dock if it is already running. The "Minimize on click" feature for Ubuntu dock icons is not enabled by default on Ubuntu Dock. I get used to this feature and I wanted it back in my Ubuntu 18.04 desktop as well. If you want this feature enabled on your Ubuntu Dock, follow the steps given below.
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Enable Minimize On Click Feature For Ubuntu Dock Icons
We can do this in couple ways. Here are two tested methods on Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS desktop.
Method 1 - Using gsettings command
gsettings is a commandline interface to GSettings which allows us to get, set or monitor an individual key for changes.
This is the quickest way to enable "minimize on click" feature. All you have to do is just copy/paste the following command to instantly to enable this feature.
$ gsettings set org.gnome.shell.extensions.dash-to-dock click-action 'minimize'
Once you have enabled this feature, click on the icon of the running application, it will get immediately minimized to dock.
If you want to preview if multiple windows of same applications are opened, use this command instead:
$ gsettings set org.gnome.shell.extensions.dash-to-dock click-action 'minimize-or-overview'
It will show the preview of all opened windows when you click on a running application. If only instance of a application is running, it will then minimize it to dock.
Just click on any window to bring it forward. This is my preferred way.
To revert back to the default settings, simply do:
$ gsettings reset org.gnome.shell.extensions.dash-to-dock click-action
To view all possible options, run:
$ gsettings range org.gnome.shell.extensions.dash-to-dock click-action
It is that simple.
If you don't like the command line way, follow the 2nd method given below.
Method 2 - Using Dconf-editor
Dconf is a simple configuration system designed for storing desktop environment settings. The main purpose of this tool is to provide a backend to Gsettings on platforms that don’t already have configuration storage systems. You can tweak various settings from “dconf” using a graphical editor called “dconf-editor”.
We can enable "minimize on click" feature using dconf-editor.
To install dconf-editor, run the following command from your Terminal:
$ sudo apt install dconf-editor
Once installed, launch it by typing the following command from the Terminal. You can also launch it from Dash.
At first launch, you will the following warning message. Click “I’ll be careful” button to continue.
Click on the search button on the top right and search for "dash-to-dock". You will see the following result. Click on "/org/gnome/shell/extensions/dash-to-dock/" folder.
Scroll down a bit and you will see "click-action" tab. Just click on it.
Click on the “Custom value” drop-down box at the end and choose “minimize” or "minimize-or-overview" option.
Finally, click the tick mark at the far right end to save the settings and close dconf-editor.
This will do the trick. Now verify if "minimize on click" feature is enabled by clicking on the icon of any running applications and you will see the respective application is automatically minimized to dock.