I found multiple answers on askUbuntu about this topic. But none of them suites to Ubuntu 17.10. So I need to ask again:

How do I set focus follows mouse in Ubuntu 17.10?

  • related: bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/gnome-shell/+bug/1726195 (for me, seems broken specifically when switching from unity to gnome, and/or to 17.10 and wayland): I'm used to using "sloppy" focus following mouse, but I still expect alt-tab to set focus to the selected window, but in 17.10, it's necessary to actually move the mouse to the window (and let it stop, then keep it there)
    – michael
    Feb 26, 2018 at 2:49

1 Answer 1


You may use (GNOME) Tweaks to achieve your goal. If it's not installed, first install it by running

sudo apt install gnome-tweak-tool

Launch Tweaks and go to the Windows section. Select "Sloppy" or "Secondary-Click" under Window Focus.

enter image description here

Alternatively you may run the following command

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences focus-mode 'sloppy'


  • 3
    Is there a way to set it to change focus as soon as the mouse enters the window, rather than when the mouse stops moving? Jan 21, 2018 at 19:01
  • 1
    What a sloppy UI! Looks like checkboxes, and looks disabled to boot! Is actually radio-button-like. Click on the one you want, ignore your instinctive urge to untick the ticked one.
    – Phil
    May 2, 2018 at 23:15
  • 2
    I've confirmed that gnome-tweaks work on Ubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish). Choose "Secondary Click" and it will work.
    – leo4jc
    Nov 15, 2018 at 23:26
  • The joy of Linux: change the OSs behaviour by a simple switch. Customize it as you please.
    – Dohn Joe
    Oct 15, 2019 at 12:15
  • 1
    @DominickPastore to make the focus change immediate run gsettings set org.gnome.mutter focus-change-on-pointer-rest false
    – Jesse
    May 25 at 4:43

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