I am using Ubuntu 14.04 with unity. I would like to have bigger window buttons (close, maximize, minimize) in unity (theme Ambiance or Radiance). I am using Ubuntu on a touchscreen with my fingers and it is not easy to always "click" on the right one.

I do not want to use the display setting => scale for menu and title bars since it also scales font and many other things.


  • Well for (gerneral icon size) You can't. Not anymore. GTK-Icon-Size settings were removed from GTk-3.10. So its not possible to change bigger icon size in 14.04 which uses Gtk-3.10 by default. For metacity/window button you can try changing the size from theme file (you have to use bigger icon size for svgs/pngs) – Khurshid Alam Jun 23 '14 at 16:51

If you are planning on customizing the button size for Ubuntu, you could always modify your theme.

In the terminal, you can run:

sudo nautilus

This will allow you to get root privileges for your file explorer.

In /usr/share/themes and /usr/share/icons there are themes and icons to give you an example of how to make your own.

I recommend copying these files and editing them to see their effects.

Don't forget to use the Unity Tweak Tool to try out the changes you've made.

If you don't like your changes, you can always revert back to the original with the tweak tool.

Good luck!

  • Hi RyanNHG, thanks for your answer. I managed to increase the window buttons size by modifying the icons directly. However this does not help a lot since the title bars do not increase their height automatically. If I make the icons too large, then they are cropped. I haven't found any way to increase the title bar height. Do you know how? I also need to increase the height of the menu bar (where the turn on/off button is). – user287633 Jun 18 '14 at 8:56
  • 2
    You have to edit the .xml config file for metacity in the theme folder. There should be a property like "title_vertical_pad". Increase that number, and it should increase the bar height. It might appear in more than one place (e.g. normal vs. maximized), so make sure you change the value in all of those places. – RyanNHG Jun 18 '14 at 13:46
  • Hi Ryan, thanks for the tip. I tried but it did not work. Does it work for you? I increased the size of all title_vertical_pad's I found in metacity-theme-1.xml – user287633 Jun 26 '14 at 12:18
  • @user287633, are you using metacity or compiz as the compositor with Unity? – crimsonspectre May 10 '16 at 14:00

I know in Unity you can find theme css in folder:


In case you have switched to Gnome already, you can modify


You can increase the title bar by changing this properties:

window.ssd headerbar.titlebar {
    padding-top: 5px;
    padding-bottom: 5px;
    min-height: 30px;

Here is a great reddit thread about it: Does anyone know how to decrease titlebar height in GNOME

Hope that helps

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