How to Make Apps Start at Center in Ubuntu 24.04

Last updated: May 1, 2024 — Leave a comment

In Ubuntu desktop, most app windows by default start at top-left of screen. It’s quite annoying, since you have to move app window before it’s ready for use.

So, in this tutorial I’m going to show you how to tweak you desktop, to make it start app window at screen center automatically.

Center App Windows in default GNOME Desktop

As far as I know, the most official flavors (e.g., XUbuntu, Ubuntu MATE, and KUbuntu) center new opened app windows out-of-the-box. While, the default GNOME desktop does not.

To enable this behavior, you can either run a single command in terminal or use a graphical configuration tool, like Gnome Tweaks of Dconf Editor.

Option 1: Use GNOME Tweaks

GNOME Tweaks, the popular Gnome desktop configuration tool, provides additional options that are not included in Gnome Control Center (aka Settings).

1. User can search and install the tool from either App Center (or Ubuntu Software in old Ubuntu), or Gnome Software in other Linux.

2. Then, launch GNOME Tweaks and navigate to “Windows” in left. Finally, find out and turn on the “Center New Windows” option in right.

That’s it. The change applies immediately after turning on the option.

Option 2: Run single command in terminal

For those who are OK with Linux commands, simply press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open up a terminal window.

Then, paste the command below into terminal and hit Enter:

gsettings set org.gnome.mutter center-new-windows true

That’s it.

Option 3: Use Dconf Editor tool

The previous 2 methods are usually enough. But for choice, there’s another tool can do the job.

It’s Dconf Editor, an advanced tool that includes tons of hidden configuration options. As changing some options may break your apps, it’s not recommended for beginners. Use it carefully.

First, search for and install “Dconf Editor” from App Center (or Ubuntu Software), after switching filter to “Debian package”.

Then, launch Dconf Editor, and click on “I’ll be careful” button. Next, navigate to ‘org -> gnome -> mutter’, and finally turn on the option for “center-new-windows”.

Center App Windows in XUbuntu XFCE Desktop

The XFCE Desktop by default center new app windows, however, you’ll find that many windows still start at screen top-left or any other position.

That’s because XFCE uses ‘Smart Placement’ feature to automatically center windows that are below a certain size. Windows above that size will be arranged automatically on the screen.

By launching “Settings Manager“, and navigate to Window Manager Tweaks -> Placement, you’ll see a slide bar to set the “Minimum size of windows to trigger smart placement”. You can move the slider to far right to be large, so any window below that size will start at center.


I'm a freelance blogger who started using Ubuntu in 2007 and wishes to share my experiences and some useful tips with Ubuntu beginners and lovers. Please comment to let me know if the tutorial is outdated! And, notify me if you find any typo/grammar/language mistakes. English is not my native language. Contact me via [email protected] Buy me a coffee:

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