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How To Reset Unity To Default Settings In Ubuntu

Over a period of time Unity settings in Ubuntu can get a bit messed up. This can be due to frequent changes to Unity Launcher icons and CompizConfig settings. The best way to resolve such issues is to reset Unity.

In this post we will tell you how to reset Unity to its default settings, including the reset of it’s launcher icons. So if your Unity settings are messed up and you want to reset it , then here is an easy tip to help you do just that.

To reset Unity in CompizConfig Settings manager, open a terminal or press ALT + F2 and enter the following command.

unity --reset

Unity reset

Similarly, to reset Unity Launcher icons, use the following command.

unity --reset-icons

Unity reset icons

This will restore Unity to its default settings including the Unity Launcher and it’s icons. With the help of these two simple commands, you can easily restore Unity settings to restore it in case of a Unity issues, such as a slow down due to a faulty plugin.


  1. Tried it, it says: “Failed to blah blah blah,” I tried again and it says “error: reset option now deprecated.” Help?

  2. Automatically had changed the font colour in Firefox in Ubuntu 11.10, and links are not open,  how to reset Firefox colours

    • In that case, I restarted and logged on with a different ‘mode’ (if I messed up in say Ubuntu, then I log on with ‘Ubuntu Classic ‘), then drag a Compiz icon to the desktop and log back to the messed-up mode and access Compiz from the icon on desktop

    • THANK YOU! Took me awhile to find the terminal window through keyboard commands, got frustrated and mashed the keyboard and it popped up! Then entered the command and ta da! Thank you than you thank you

  3. I am trying to do this but have not had success. I have a standard panel across the top of the screen with the “application”, “places”, “system” panel across the top. I am trying to get back to the unity launcher that autohides on the side of the screen. My nephew was messing around with my laptop and I am not sure what he did. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  4. thanks a lot.. i was just exploring my compiz settings in ubuntu and messed up with it.
    great to have you posted this..!!

  5. Thanks a lot! I was fiddling with Compiz settings and ended up with messed-up Unity. Found your post and was able to get back working Unity. Thanks once again!

  6. Just wanted to say thank you. I was messing around with the Compiz settings, just to see what I could do and I really messed it up. Thankfully I found your post here and it is reset perfectly!

  7. I’m on 11.04.

    From unity’s launchbar when I click on the trash can, it opens my music player, instead of the trash. If I go and view the trash from the home folder’s sidebar, it works… I did the unity and icons reset to no avail, any ideas? Or other reset’s that I can/should do?

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