Ubuntu – How to reset GNOME to the defaults


I was playing around with some settings, and now I need to reset GNOME to it's defaults – how do I do that?

Best Answer

For Unity-related configuration resetting, take a look here.

For Ubuntu 17.10 and higher, you can reset all the settings using dconf.

This command will delete your configuration files. Once it's run there is no going back!

Still with me?


Run the following in the terminal or Alt+F2:

rm -rf .gnome .gnome2 .gconf .gconfd .metacity

That will do is remove all the GNOME2 configuration settings. Log out, and log back in. You'll be back to a stock desktop.

You can backup before playing around with your settings in the future:

mkdir ./.old-gnome-config && mv ./.gnome* ./.old-gnome-config && mv .gconf* ./.old-gnome-config && mv ./.metacity ./.old-gnome-config


If your config isn't worth saving run the following:

rm -rf .gnome .gnome2 .gconf .gconfd .metacity .cache .dbus .dmrc .mission-control .thumbnails ~/.config/dconf/user ~.compiz*

To back up and reset GNOME3:

mkdir ./.old-gnome-config/ && mv ./.gnome* ./.old-gnome-config/ && mv .gconf* ./.old-gnome-config/ && mv ./.metacity ./.old-gnome-config/ && mv ./.cache ./.old-gnome-config/ && mv ./.dbus ./.old-gnome-config/ && mv ./.dmrc ./.old-gnome-config/ && mv ./.mission-control ./.old-gnome-config/ && mv ./.thumbnails ./.old-gnome-config/   && mv ~/.config/dconf/* ./.old-gnome-config/
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