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It is slow to login after I changed some settings (I don't remember what they were).

How do I reset my user settings in a way that does not delete any applications that I have installed?

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Reverting changes, when you can't remember what they were, is going to be hard indeed. Make and effort, try to remember. –  mikewhatever Nov 17 '11 at 2:25
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If they were Unity related changes (i.e. you used "ccsm") then you can run a command to reset unity to its default settings: Press Alt+F2 to open the "Run command" dialog, and enter the following:

unity --reset

WARNING: This will reset ALL your unity related changes, including launcher icon size and panel transparency (from my experience almost all compiz settings are reset). This is a rather delicate command and should be used only when truly necessary.

If you were using dconf-editor then there is an option to reset to default. Again, use this with caution, because what dconf-editorconsiders default settings may not necessarily be Ubuntu's default settings.

If you were editing a particular application's settings, you can remove it along with all its config files using the command:

sudo apt-get --purge remove NAME-OF-APP

Overall, you're best bet is to simply remember exactly what you were tweaking, and reverse only those changes.

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