How To Access The Suspend Button In Ubuntu 18.04 (Gnome Shell)

New Ubuntu 18.04 users might notice that the suspend button is missing from the Gnome Shell user menu, which has only 3 options: Settings, Lock Screen and Power Off:

user menu gnome shell

The computer can suspend automatically after a period of inactivity (this can be configured from Settings > Power), but what if you want to suspend the computer on demand? There's no need to keep looking for the Suspend button because you won't find it, even though it's there, in the user menu... sort of.

The solution is very simple, although unintuitive: open the user menu (the menu from the top Gnome Shell bar that contains the power off button, etc.), hold down the Alt key and the Power Off button should change to a Suspend button. You can now click the Suspend button to suspend your Gnome desktop.

Here's a gif showing the Power Off button turning into a Suspend button when holding Alt on Ubuntu 18.04:

suspend power off button gnome shell ubuntu 18.04
Notice the button in the bottom right-hand side that changes between Suspend and Power Off (I'm holding the Alt key while recording this Gif). Yes, it's that easy but also that.... undiscoverable.

You can also long-click the Power Off button and it will change into a Suspend button.

If you want a permanently visible Suspend button in the Gnome Shell user menu (which doesn't require having to hold the Alt key), there's an alternative - Suspend Button extension:

suspend button permanently visible gnome shell user menu

The Suspend Button extension simply adds a Suspend button to the Gnome Shell user menu, between the Lock Screen and Power Off buttons:

Install the Suspend Button extension for Gnome Shell from the Gnome extension repository.