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Hide Applications From Ubuntu Dash

How To Hide Applications From Ubuntu Dash

By sk
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This brief guide explains how to hide applications from Ubuntu dash. When you install a new application in your Ubuntu desktop system, a corresponding menu entry (i.e. launcher) will be created and placed in the Dash or Application menu for quick access. The application launchers are nothing but a simple text files with a .desktop extension. The .desktop files acts as a shortcut to launch the applications.

All of the .desktop files are usually stored in one of the following directories:

  • /usr/share/applications
  • /usr/local/share/applications
  • ~/.local/share/applications

Let us have a quick look at the /usr/share/applications/ directory.

$ ls /usr/share/applications/

Here is the list of all applications' .desktop files in my Ubuntu 18.04 LTS desktop.

List .desktop files in Ubuntu

If you open a .desktop entry file, for example vlc.desktop;

$ cat /usr/share/applications/vlc.desktop

You will see the configuration details of the corresponding application.

View contents of vlc.desktop file in Ubuntu

Now let us see how to hide a specific application from Ubuntu Dash.

Hide Applications From Ubuntu Dash

When you click Show Applications option in Ubuntu launcher, you will see all installed programs in the Ubuntu Dash. If you wish to hide one of the program menu entries from showing up in the Ubuntu Dash, just follow the steps given below. I tested this guide in Ubuntu 18.04 desktop and it just worked fine as expected.

For example, I will show you how to hide the vlc application from Ubuntu dash.

When you type "vlc" in the dash, you will see its launcher icon as shown below.

vlc application entry in Ubuntu dash

If you want to hide the vlc application from showing up in the Ubuntu dash, copy its .desktop file to ~/.local/share/applications/ directory using the following command:

$ sudo cp /usr/share/applications/vlc.desktop ~/.local/share/applications/

Very Important Note - Always first copy the .desktop file to ~/.local/share/applications and edit the locally copied file. The local file will then override the global .desktop file on the next login.

Now open the copied file in your favorite editor:

$ sudo nano ~/.local/share/applications/vlc.desktop

Add the following line before the line (if it exists) Actions=, but below the first line i.e. [Desktop Entry]:

Hidden=true

Edit contents of vlc.desktop file in Ubuntu

Save and close the file. Log out and log back in for this to take effect.

Now type vlc in the Ubuntu dash and you will not see it anymore.

To make the vlc application visible again, just remove the "vlc.desktop" file from ~/.local/share/applications/ directory.

Double check the vlc.desktop file path before deleting it. You should delete it from ~/.local/share/applications/, but not from /usr/share/applications/.


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