Click on empty space of shutdown, restart screen cancels operation

I find that if by accident I click anywhere but a button it closes the shutdown, restart screen, which I find unnecessary and an issue. Since there is already a cancel button


At the moment this is intentional; the empty space is a much larger click target than the tiny cancel button.

What problem is it causing you?

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Sometimes at night from bed is hard to click on the Ok button at the first try (using a wireless mini keyboard with tiny track-pad), and it takes me out of the screen, instead of having another chance to click on the button.

I know I could just let the timer run out. But for me is an unexpected behaiviour, given that the cancel button does exist.

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You can just hit the return or enter key to trigger the highlighted action immediately. Then no mousing is required. Or you can click on the action, which is a larger click target than the skinny OK button.

Yes, I know there are alternatives, however you are yet to make a case on why the empty space is treated as a cancel button, instead of just inert space.

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Because that’s the current design, and it increases the click target for canceling. It’s pretty much as simple as that.

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What about make the cancel button bigger, instead?

Also “that’s the current design” it’s not much of an argument.

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I’m not making an argument, I’m simply explaining the situation.

My mistake, I assumed I was talking with someone Involved in the design of the screen, not a user.

It’s a common pattern that the empty space behind/around modal dialogs cancels them, in my experience. So I don’t consider it a particularly strange design choice, rather it is following the expectation of (probably) most users.


Interesting, I’ve looked for that behavior and haven’t found it anywhere else. Looked for it in:

  • Kate
  • Yast Software
  • Discover
  • System preferences
  • Dolphin
  • KNotes
  • Kleopatra
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You can also make the opposite argument that if the area being “didn’t” cancel the dialog, then you could unintentionally shut down the computer.

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I’m sorry english is not my native language, could you rephrase that?

I want to avoid any unintentional behavior, both shutting down and cancelling.

The ones which spawn an entire new window for the modal dialog don’t exhibit that. But the newer dialogs do. You can see that in, for example, System Settings > Shortcuts > Add Command, or System Settings > About this System > Show serial number, or System Settings > Applications > Default Applications > the info icons beside certain settings, and so on.

Per your examples:

  • System Settings > Shortcuts > Add Command
    This opens a small dialog. Clicking on the empty space within that dialog does nothing (as I would expect). Clicking outside that dialog indeed closes it, same as in any drop down menu, but that is not an equivalent, because if the dialog went full screen it would not close unless you click on the “X” button.

  • System Settings > About this System > Show serial number,
    Somehow I don’t have “Show serial number” button. Only the “Show more information” which opens another window that has no accept/cancel dialog

  • System Settings > Applications > Default Applications > the info icons beside certain settings,
    Again drop-down menus are expected to close when you click outside of them. But they are not an accept/cancel dialog with empty space around them.

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Exactly my point. The shutdown, reboot, etc. screen is an entire new full screen window, and it should not close unless you click on the cancel button.

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TBH, I like it as it is.


I’m with the original poster on this - the shutdown/restart/etc screen doesn’t look or feel like a dialogue in which clicking the empty space would cancel it, so I also find this unexpected behaviour. Personally, I would also prefer that clicking in the empty space did nothing. I too often find I click just outside the button I intended to click, thus cancelling the dialogue and having to bring up the shutdown/restart/etc action again. Most dialogues don’t behave like that.


Current behaviour:
At the moment, clicking any of the redish areas will cancel the shutdown screen, including the areas between the buttons, and on the countdown text. The only area that does nothing is the avatar and username.

Expected behaviour for “clicking outside cancels” would be if the cancel area would be more like below (and the cancel button, of course):