Ubuntu – How to change “Show Applications” button on GNOME 3 dash


I'm using Ubuntu with GNOME desktop.

I was wondering how to change the "Show Applications" button icon on the dash?

enter image description here

Best Answer

This button is added by "Show Applications" extension, isn't it? This extension relies on view-grid-symbolic.svg icon, located in /usr/share/icons/gnome/scalable/actions folder of the Gnome icon theme. This info can be obtained when you download this extension directly and investigate its contents.

Now you have 2 ways to replace its icon.
1. You can use your scalable icon my-cool-icon.svg instead of it:

sudo cp -p /usr/share/icons/gnome/scalable/actions/view-grid-symbolic.svg /usr/share/icons/gnome/scalable/actions/view-grid-symbolic.svg.bak
sudo cp my-cool-icon.svg /usr/share/icons/gnome/scalable/actions/view-grid-symbolic.svg
cd /usr/share/icons ; sudo gtk-update-icon-cache gnome

The last string updates the cache of your icons to make your new icon appear. If it won't, restart Gnome.
This method isn't the best one, as it replaces one of the system icons, which may be used by some other application. That's why the second one is preferable.

2. You should find where this extension is located and alter its code, so it will point to another icon. First, create this icon:

sudo cp my-cool-icon.svg /usr/share/icons/gnome/scalable/actions/show-applications-extension-symbolic.svg

You can find your installed extensions in $HOME/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions/ folder. Find the folder starting with showapplications@ within it, enter it and find extension.js file. Make a backup of it for safety, open it with your favorite editor and find the next string:

let icon = new St.Icon({ icon_name: 'view-grid-symbolic',

Replace view-grid-symbolic inside the quotes with the new one, i.e. show-applications-extension-symbolic.svg. That's it. Restart Gnome if the change doesn't appear instantly.
If it still not visible, update icon cache as explained above.


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