This simple tutorial will explain how to disable or change the Alt+left mouse from moving windows in Ubuntu 12.04 gnome-shell and unity desktop.

There used to be a built-in utility for switching this movement key to an other in Gnome 2.

I don’t know why ‘Move Window’ plugin in CCSM doesn’t work in Ubuntu 12.04. Now I think the best way to disable or change Alt key and left mouse from moving windows is using dconf-editor. This will take effect in both Gnome Shell and Unity while settings in gconf-editor only work for Unity.

Disable/Change Alt+Left Mouse Moving windows in Gnome Shell & Unity:

First you may not installed dconf-tools yet, hit Ctrl+Alt+T to launch terminal and execute this command to install it:

sudo apt-get install dconf-tools

Now, launch dconf-edtior and navigate to org -> gnome -> desktop -> vm -> preferences.

Set value of mouse-button-modifier to:

  • none will disable Alt + left/right/middle key at next login
  • switch to other keys, such as <Ctrl>, <Super>, etc.

Holding down the key will not only move windows by left mouse, but also resize window by middle mouse and show window menu by right mouse.