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How to reset the favorite list in Gnome Shell on Linux

Is the favorite list on your Gnome Shell desktop getting too full? Don’t want to go through and manually unfavorite a bunch of apps to clear it out? If so, this guide is for you. Follow along as we show you how you can quickly reset the favorites list in Gnome Shell on Linux!

Note: looking for information on how to reset Gnome Shell to defaults? Check out our guide on the subject.

Reset favorite list with the GUI

The favorite list in Gnome Shell is what you see in the Gnome overview mode on the dock when the Win key on the keyboard is pressed. The favorite list holds all of the apps you’ve added to the dock for quick access. As you use Gnome Shell, this favorite list may become cluttered and messy. Thankfully, you can reset it using the GUI. 

The GUI tool you can use to reset the favorite list is Dcof editor. It’s a graphical editing tool that allows you to customize and modify the Gnome Shell desktop environment’s settings files. However, the Dconf editor isn’t pre-installed on many Linux OSes, so we must demonstrate how to install it first.

To start the installation of the Dconf editor on your Linux PC, launch a terminal on the Linux desktop. Once the terminal window is open and ready to use, follow the command-line installation instructions outlined below that corresponds with the Linux OS you currently use.


On Ubuntu, you can install the Dconf editor on your computer using the Apt install command below.

sudo apt install dconf-editor


The Dconf editor application can easily be set up on Debian Linux by executing the following Apt-get command in a terminal.

sudo apt-get install dconf-editor

Arch Linux

Those on Arch Linux will be able to get the Dconf editor using the following Pacman command in a terminal window.

sudo pacman -S dconf-editor


If you’re on Fedora Linux, there’s a good chance Dconf editor may already be installed. The reason for this is that Fedora works closely with Gnome. If, however, the Dconf editor isn’t pre-installed, you can get it set up by executing the following dnf command in a terminal window.

sudo dnf install dconf-editor


On OpenSUSE Linux, the Dconf editor may be pre-installed on the Gnome version. If it is, there is no need to follow the installation instructions. If, however, you do not have it set up on your Linux PC, you can quickly get it set up by executing the following zypper command.

sudo zypper install dconf-editor

Once you’ve gotten the Dconf editor installed on your Linux PC, launch it by searching for “Dconf editor” in the application menu in Gnome. When the app is open, follow the step-by-step instructions below to learn how to clear your favorites list!

Step 1: Upon opening up the Dconf editor, you will see a notification appear in the center of the app window. This notification warns you that messing with the editor could break things. Select the “I’ll be careful” button to continue.

Step 2: Look through the list of folders in Dconf editor, and select the “org” folder.

Step 3: After selecting the “org” folder, look for the “gnome” folder and click on it.

Step 4: Once you’ve selected the “gnome” folder, click on the “shell” folder to access it.

Step 5: Inside the “shell” folder, you will see tons of different Gnome Shell options. Scroll through and look for “favorite-apps.” Then, click on it with the mouse to access the “favorite-apps” configuration.

Step 6: Scroll through “favorite-apps” to the bottom, and you’ll see “Custom value.” This value is filled with all of the custom favorites you’ve added to the Gnome dock. To reset it, click on the “Use default value” button, and it will reset to default.

Close Dconf editor when done!

Reset favorite list with terminal

The GUI app is handy for resetting the favorite list in Gnome, and beginner Linux users are sure to love it. However, the GUI isn’t for everyone. If you prefer to use the Linux terminal on your system, you’ll want to be able to reset your Gnome Shell favorites list using the command-line.

To start the reset process, open up a terminal window on the Gnome desktop. Once the terminal window is open and ready to use, it’s time to reset the favorites list using the gsettings command below.

gsettings reset org.gnome.shell favorite-apps

Keep in mind that this command will completely wipe out your favorites list from the dock, with no way to back it up. Only execute this command once you’re sure you’re ready to clear the favorites bar!

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