I have an issue with Gnome and Ubuntu 20. In particular, top bar text and drop-down menus characters randomly disappear, in a similar way to this. The only fix I found is to reboot. Does anyone have any idea on how to fix this?

P.S. My software is up to date.

EDIT: Info about my computer and graphics card:

sudo lshw -C video

       description: VGA compatible controller
       product: HD Graphics 620
       vendor: Intel Corporation
       physical id: 2
       bus info: pci@0000:00:02.0
       version: 02
       width: 64 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: pciexpress msi pm vga_controller bus_master cap_list rom
       configuration: driver=i915 latency=0
       resources: irq:131 memory:a2000000-a2ffffff memory:b0000000-bfffffff ioport:5000(size=64) memory:c0000-dffff
       description: 3D controller
       product: GM107 [GeForce 940MX]
       vendor: NVIDIA Corporation
       physical id: 0
       bus info: pci@0000:01:00.0
       version: a2
       width: 64 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: pm msi pciexpress bus_master cap_list rom
       configuration: driver=nvidia latency=0
       resources: irq:134 memory:a3000000-a3ffffff memory:90000000-9fffffff memory:a0000000-a1ffffff ioport:4000(size=128) memory:a4080000-a40fffff
  • Any gnome-shell extension ? Commented Jun 22, 2020 at 10:09
  • Add information about your computer and graphics card (edit your post for this)
    – vanadium
    Commented Jun 22, 2020 at 10:33
  • 3
    not an solution, but perhaps an better solution than rebooting: press Alt+F2then type r and confirm with enter -- this restarts Gnome-Shell
    – d1bro
    Commented Jun 22, 2020 at 11:00
  • @vanadium Are there any preinstalled extensions I should be aware of? I haven't installed any.
    – fresh
    Commented Jun 22, 2020 at 11:24

1 Answer 1


Had the same issue. Reboot did not fix. db429's suggestion of restarting Gnome-Shell worked, though not instantly. I noticed everything (header, desktop icon text) back after a few minutes, but as noted in comments it was just a long few seconds.

Steps: Alt+F2, type r, hit enter, even if you can't see what it says when you do so.

  • db429's solution works for me too. Everything is back to normal in a few seconds on my machine.
    – fresh
    Commented Oct 19, 2020 at 11:21
  • Happened again and checked - back in 7 seconds. Long enough that I missed it changing after. Thanks again all.
    – Majuba
    Commented Nov 2, 2020 at 14:09
  • In 20.04, alt+F2+r works, but after upgrade to 22.04, this does not work. Still try to find other solution
    – shijie xu
    Commented Mar 19, 2023 at 6:53
  • I'm 90% sure I've used it successfully on 22.04, but it's also been happening a lot less in it.
    – Majuba
    Commented Mar 20, 2023 at 15:03

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