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How to set up Arc Menu in Gnome Shell

Arc Menu is a dynamic, beautiful application menu for the Gnome Shell desktop environment. It has a search function, file system shortcuts, and even allows users to add favorite apps for easy access.

If you’re sick of using the default application browser for the Gnome Shell desktop, follow along with this guide as we go over how to set up the Arc Menu in Gnome Shell.

Before we begin

Arc Menu is at its best when used with another Gnome Shell desktop extension: Dash to Panel, as it transforms the favorites bar in Gnome to a Windows-like taskbar, and with Arc Menu, makes for a great Linux experience.

If you’d like to learn how to get the Dash to Panel Gnome extension up and running on your Linux PC, head over to this guide here. In it, we go over how to set up and customize Dash to Panel on the Gnome Shell desktop environment.

Setting up Gnome Extensions

Using Arc Menu on the Gnome Shell desktop means enabling Gnome Extension support on your Linux PC. To enable Gnome Extension support, you must install the chrome-gnome-shell package, as well as a built-in browser add-on for Firefox or Chrome.

Need help setting up Gnome Extensions on your Linux PC? Head over to our guide on how to set up and use Gnome Shell extensions. In the guide, we cover all about how to install the Gnome browser add-on for Firefox and Chrome, as well as how to install the “chrome-gnome-shell” package on most modern Linux operating systems.

Install Arc Menu in Gnome Shell

The Arc Menu can be installed on the Gnome Shell desktop environment in two ways. Gnome Software, and the Gnome website. In this guide, we’ll go over both ways of installing Arc Menu.

Gnome website

To install the Arc Menu from the Gnome Extension website, start by going to the extension home page. Then, find the search box, and click on it with the mouse.

In the Gnome Extension website’s search box, type in “Arc Menu,” and press the Enter key to run a search on the website.

After running a search on the Extension website, you should see “Arc Menu” in the results. From here, click on the “Arc Menu” result in the list.

Upon clicking on “Arc Menu,” you will see a page all about Arc Menu. On this page, find the “OFF” slider, and switch it to the “ON” position.

Once the “OFF” slider is set to “ON,” you will see a pop-up on the Gnome Shell desktop environment. This pop-up will ask if you’d like to install Arc Menu. Select the “Install” button to get the extension.

Gnome Software

If you’re not a fan of the Gnome Extension website, it is also possible to install the Arc Menu extension in Gnome Shell with the Gnome Software application.

To start the installation of Arc Menu, launch Gnome Software on the desktop. Then, after launching Gnome Software, click the search icon at the top left.

Once you’ve selected the search icon, type “Arc Menu” in the search box, and press the Enter key to run a search.

Look through the search results for “Arc Menu,” and select it with the mouse. Then, after selecting “Arc Menu” with the mouse, locate the blue “Install” button, and click it to install it to the Gnome Shell desktop.

Using Arc Menu

Arc Menu is pretty straightforward. To use it, find the “A” icon at the top-left area of the Gnome Shell panel, and click on it with the mouse.

Clicking on the “A” icon will instantly reveal the Arc Menu. From here, you can click “All Programs” to find a program to launch, or start typing to search for a specific app to run.

Adding favorites to the Arc Menu

The Arc Menu supports adding favorites to it. To add an application favorite, do the following.

First, select “All Programs” or search for an app you’d like to add to Arc Menu as a favorite. Then, right-click on the program, and select the “Pin to Arc Menu” option to add it to the Arc Menu favorites.

Need to remove a favorite? Open Arc Menu, and right-click on the app in the favorites list. Then, select “Unpin from Arc Menu.”

Accessing folders

Arc Menu gives users in Gnome Shell easy access to many folders in the home directory. To access them, do the following.

First, open up the Arc Menu. Then, look to the right-hand part of it, under your username. Then, choose a folder to instantly access (Home, Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, or Videos).

Gnome Shell settings

With Arc Menu, you can quickly access various Gnome Shell settings, such as starting a terminal, the Gnome Tweaks app, etc. To launch any of the Gnome Shell settings from Arc Menu, do the following.

First, open up the Arc Menu. Then, look to the bottom-right area of the menu (under the folders). From here, select any of the five settings options with the mouse.

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