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The gear icon on the top right has turned red. why?

screenshot of my desktop

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This happens when there's an update/upgrade that will only be completed after you restart.

This generaly only applies to kernel updates or, of course, upgrading to an ubuntu major release.

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Thank you very much! – Coy Jan 5 '14 at 22:46
@Coy - if this answered your question, could you please mark it as answered :-) – Wilf Jan 5 '14 at 23:19

An update having been installed that requires a restart is one reason the icon will turn red. However, updates are generally installed via the Update Manager application, and it will also not give you an obvious way to quit, displaying a dialog with only a single Restart button in it, in the event of installing an update that requires a restart.

However, the gear icon will also turn red, when there is a problem with an account you have configured in Online Accounts, such as Twitter. When this occurs, an Online accounts… item will also appear in the menu, when you open it.

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