I am a regular user of Ubuntu. I recently moved on from Ubuntu 19 for 20.04 LTS, but after the upgrade the settings are not opening. Besides the settings, the display settings and change background option are also not working.

  • 4
    How do you try to open settings ?
    – Soren A
    May 10, 2020 at 18:59
  • 1
    the answer from may 10 is the correct solution to your question,i managed to remove settings a couple of months back(i have not the faintest idea how i did it) and re installing controll center solved the problem.please accept the answer as it solves your problem. Jun 27, 2020 at 15:21
  • sudo apt install pipewire
    – Burak
    May 7, 2021 at 5:17
  • I checked gnome-control-center and got an error saying "bash: gnome-control-center: command not found" So, I ran the command sudo apt install gnome-control-center and it worked for me, Mar 23 at 14:43

2 Answers 2


Your Gnome-Control-Center might need reinstalling. Open your terminal and enter these commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install --reinstall gnome-control-center

And then the commands for opening the display and system settings, respectively, would be:

gnome-control-center display

These commands will change the desktop background: First, get the URI of the background image:

gsettings get org.gnome.desktop.background picture-uri 'file:///home/yourusername/Pictures/yourpic.jpg'

Then set the background URI like so:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background picture-uri 'file:///home/yourname/Pictures/yourpic.jpg'

And it will update your desktop background.

Best of luck!

  • 1
    I had a very similar problem (though I didn't upgrade... seems this problem occurred after an update of 20.04). Anyway the reinstall didn't fix the problem but running "gnome-control-center display" forced the display window to appear. Now using the display settings menu selection works fine, (as does the "settings' menu selection... neither of which worked previously).
    – MER
    Dec 1, 2020 at 4:49
  • 1
    @MER I didn't have gnome-control-center installed. I installed it and changed my background with it and my context menu for background, settings and display settings all started to work. So this gets my upvote.
    – Dean
    Feb 19, 2021 at 17:52
  • 2
    Thank you, @Ollie! If only they'd hired you at Ubuntu. We wouldn't have to worry about things like that! :)
    – twigmac
    Mar 5, 2021 at 7:23
  • 1
    Great answer, except that it didn't work.
    – Sephethus
    Jul 29, 2021 at 13:38
  • 2
    I only reinstalled gnome-control-center and it worked, thanks. Nov 27, 2021 at 19:43

I had a similar problem where settings would not open after an upgrade. All the updates appeared to be installed, none of the above from Ollie worked. Eventually found it was a window/screen/display problem. Try pressing "shift + win + left arrow" or similar combinations to switch displays to where the settings app is open but not visible. Then you can try a single display - I found it was set to "join" which clearly didn't work.

  • my problem was the sudo apt install fuse... I have chosen N option to keep my conf settings and after that I couldn't see or open settings
    – lewis4u
    Jan 13 at 9:49
  • @lewis4u how did you solve it ?
    – George
    Mar 7 at 7:05
  • The problem is with fuse library on Ubuntu 22.04 You have to sudo apt purge fuse and then install sudo apt install libfuse2 and also sudo apt install gnome-control-center colord libgd3
    – lewis4u
    Mar 12 at 12:00

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