Alacarte crashes every time I attempt to edit a submenu or move an item from one submenu to another and then I'd have to wipe the application.menu files or my gnomeshell desktop would be useless. Is there a way to organize my main menu and unity dash applications subcategories without using Alacarte? I've got so many items installed in the wrong category and I'd also like to remove a ton of zombie icons.

  • 1
    I can edit and correct some information using these responses, but one large question remains unanswered. How do I move entries that gnome misfiled in the 'other' menu during my last upgrade, and put them back where they belong?
    – user258515
    Apr 22 '14 at 11:52

GUI way

You might want to try Menulibre, a new alternative to Alacarte. You can install it via:

sudo apt-get install menulibre

Manual way

Application launchers are located in these three folders:


(your user only)


(all users)

By modifying the .desktop files found in these folders you can edit menu entries directly. Modifications in user-wide folders will require root access:

gksudo nautilus /usr/local/share/applications

Drag and drop .desktop files into a text editor like gedit to edit their contents. If root access is required, use:

gksudo gedit

Delete the files to remove their corresponding menu/dash entries.

Important Caveat: Changes introduced to default – i.e. user-wide – .desktop files might get reverted on the next system update.

  • 1
    Application launchers for all users are usually located in /usr/share/applications. /usr/local/share/applications usually only contains launchers for programs that you install from source code. Also, you can edit a launcher from one of those two folder as a normal user: copy the launcher to ~/.local/share/applications and edit that copy (that's what alacarte and menulibre do). Only you will see this modified launcher.
    – user180409
    Oct 11 '14 at 9:52
  • @BrunoNova Thanks for the correction on the launcher locations! I'd only like to add that copying the launcher to your home folder might result in a duplicate launcher in the dash. OTOH, changes introduced to the default launchers might get reverted with system updates. Oct 11 '14 at 11:33
  • How to change item location in the menu?
    – Dims
    Jun 24 '18 at 17:28

To add to the answer above, the .desktop files may also be located in


Another alternative menu editor is ezame which I have used and works quite well. You can install it by running the following:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:caldas-lopes/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ezame

The source code is available on GitHub.


An old alternative is to install gnome-panel and use gnome-desktop-item-edit application.

gnome-desktop-item-edit also has a parameter --create-new, to create new launchers.

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