How to prevent unity from changing automatically workspace when activating minimized window previously partially dragged across two workspaces the way that bigger part of window is in other workspace.


Assuming 4 workspaces as 2x2 matrix. Starting in top left workspace.

  1. Start firefox + maximize it.
  2. CTRL ALT T, start terminal in standard size.
  3. Drag terminal down to see just its upper quarter, ie. hide its lower part outside of current workspace.
  4. Click on firefox, bring it on foreground.
  5. Click the terminal icon on the launcher.

The unity will switch to the workspace down showing lower part of the terminal window.

How to prevent or disable such a workspace switching mode for windows crossing workspace borders? It makes little sense to allow unity to follow bigger part of window to another workspace.

The workaround is to have just one workspace, or to do described action in the bottom workspace, but it is all about setting the user, not the software.

Ex post edit: After not receiving satisfactory answer, I tried to get used to it. I did my best to get accustomed to Unity desktop and the frustrating workspace switching behaviour, but I failed and abandoned Unity. Using Cinnamon desktop as a user workaround.

  • I had added an answer but misread the question. I do not think what you are saying is possible.
    – kapad
    Mar 3, 2014 at 22:45
  • I may be missing something here, but why can't you just resize the terminal window so that it doesn't encroach on the other workspace?
    – Eoin
    Mar 7, 2014 at 11:40
  • @Eoin, the terminal is just example, you can imagine any other app. Anyway, I am not searching how I could tweak myself, but how to tweak unity. Mar 7, 2014 at 11:47
  • this is a logical behaviour, when you focus an app (that is what clicking on an icon does) you go to the workspace where the biggest past of the app is located. is it different in other DE's? I do not understand what you want for your bounty? can you explain please? Mar 11, 2014 at 8:30
  • I need to know what I asked. How to disable it (at least). I do not see anything logical in it, unless I want to practice ctrl alt arrow. Old windows managers had better logic. If someone drag window partially across workspace border does not mean that he/she wants to have it in another workspace. There are another tools for sending window to other ws. I need more workspaces without such an automatical comfort. I am inteligent enough to know when to go to other workspace. Thats it. Mar 11, 2014 at 13:47

1 Answer 1


I don't think there is a work-around besides just having only one workspace because of the nature of "Workspace application-switching", or however you wish to word it. I can see how it would make sense that the workspace with the majority of the window is viewed as the workspace that window is in, but could also see how it would be frustrating. I don't know if "Workspace application-switching" is a feature you can turn off, but that would be the only other solution I could think conceivable.

  • Thank you for your effort to answer and for the way you have chosen. I agree with you about how (the switching) it would make sense or how it would be frustrating. However I cant rate it as an answer that can help me. Mar 14, 2014 at 11:17
  • I totally respect that, just trying to help out! Apr 9, 2014 at 16:24

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