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Within thirty seconds of installing Ubuntu 12.04 (to replace my problem-laden Kubuntu 11.04, by the way), I had figured out how to get stuff onto Unity and move it around. On the other hand, after anywhere between two weeks and a month of having 12.04, I have not figured out how to get stuff OFF the Unity launcher to clean it up, considering I have too much stuff on it to begin with and want to put some on my desktop.

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There are a couple of ways of removing items from the launcher.

  • Right click on the icon that you wish to remove and select the Unlock from Launcher option from the menu

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  • Click and hold on the icon and then drag in down to the Trash bin at the bottom of the launcher

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You aren't able to drag items off the launcher and straight onto the desktop however, if you want to put icons onto the desktop you need to open the dash, navigate to the application or file you wish to have on the desktop and click-hold and drag it to where ever you wish it to appear.

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Some applications don't provide the "Unlock from Launcher" quicklist entry. Then we have to untick the "Lock to launcher" entry instead. – Takkat May 18 '12 at 12:05
@Takkat Interesting, I'd never experienced that, do you know an example of an application that doesn't so I can add a picture to the answer? – coversnail May 18 '12 at 12:17
Atm I have only limited access to Ubuntu in a VM - LibreOffice Calc is such a candidate (at least on Unity2D but I have seen several other apps in Unity 3D). Hope that helps. – Takkat May 18 '12 at 12:20

Just right click the launcher and select "Unlock from Launcher" and when you'll close any running instance of that app, it should disappear from the launcher too.

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