I just installed Ubuntu 18.04 and don't like having the trash icon on the desktop rather that in the launcher (Ubuntu dock).

How can I move it back to the launcher? Can other icons be moved from the desktop to the launcher?


Removing the Trash icon from desktop

Up to Ubuntu 18.10

Launch Terminal and run

gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.desktop trash-icon-visible false

You may alternatively use GUI tools like dconf-Editor or (GNOME) Tweaks (see this for reference).

Ubuntu 19.04 and later

Disable the trash icon option from Extensions > Desktop Icon in Tweaks:
enter image description here Alternatively, run the following command

gsettings set org.gnome.shell.extensions.desktop-icons show-trash false

Adding a Trash icon to the Ubuntu dock

Up to Ubuntu 19.04

Follow the steps below.

  1. First install the trash-cli package by running

    sudo apt install trash-cli
  2. Create a .desktop file (say trash-in-dock.desktop) in your ~/.local/share/applications/ directory.

  3. Open the file with a text editor and add the following lines

    [Desktop Entry]
    Comment=Trash icon for Ubuntu dock
    Name=Trash for Dock
    Exec=nautilus trash:///
    [Desktop Action empty-trash]
    Name=Empty Trash
  4. Save the file and re-login if needed.

  5. Click "Activities" or press Super and search for Trash for Dock. It should appear in the results.

  6. Right click the icon and select "Add to Favourites".

What you will get

  1. A Trash icon in your dock, clicking which will open the Trash folder.

  2. Right clicking the Trash icon in the dock will show an "Empty Trash" option which should work as intended.
    enter image description here

What you won't get

  1. The Trash icon in the dock would be like other app icons, it won't be conveniently placed at the bottom like in Unity Launcher.

  2. The Trash icon in the dock would be a 'static' one, i.e. won't show two different icons depending on whether the Trash is empty or not.

Ubuntu 19.10 and later

Simply run the following command

gsettings set org.gnome.shell.extensions.dash-to-dock show-trash true
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  • Thanks for the info. I will give it a try. I don't know why they took it out of the launcher/dock to begin with or why the nomenclature has to be changed just to confuse things. – user607003 Aug 21 '18 at 14:24
  • @user607003 It's not just the nomenclature, it goes deeper than that. Ubuntu 18.04 uses GNOME instead of Unity (after 6 years or so). The changeover is massive. – pomsky Aug 21 '18 at 14:26
  • About the step Save the file and re-login if needed.: Is not necessary, not even to reset (alt+f2 r). – Pablo Bianchi Mar 4 '19 at 18:23
  • @pablo Are you absolutely sure that's not required? I, for one, a few times experienced the issue of a newly created custom launcher not appearing in 'Show Applications' immediately after creation (and at least restarting GNOME shell was required). – pomsky Mar 4 '19 at 18:35
  • Only Chuck Norris can be absolutely sure about something. I just did it and it wasn't necessary. Gnome 3.28.3 @ 18.04.2. Maybe you could leave it at the end as a note if it doesn't work. – Pablo Bianchi Mar 4 '19 at 20:00

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