My Unity Launcher is currently stuck open. Short of logging out and back in, does anyone have ideas for getting it to auto-hide as usual?


It turns out that the Launcher is supposed to stay open on workspaces containing no windows. Two of my workspaces had maximised windows which Unity didn't seem to be noticing, and when I closed those and then re-opened them, the Launcher reverted to its correct auto-hide behaviour.

Perhaps one could also simply move the window to another workspace and back to get the Launcher unstuck--I did not think to try that.


None of the methods above like Super S/Super-W, drag drops, min/max/move windows worked for me.

Only running ccsm, disabling Ubuntu Unity Plugin, and re-enabling it.

Ubuntu 11.10


If you wish to have the launcher always autohide, you can use the Unity plugin in the CompizConfig Settings Manager. See this question for complete instructions.

  • Very useful, thanks! I'm accepting my own answer because it is the answer to the very specific question that I asked, but voting yours up because it is great info. :) – Josh Glover May 11 '11 at 11:47

I've had the same problems. SO annoying. It seems to happen when I select and drag in certain programs. So far in Menedely Desktop and QtiPlot. The trick I've found is to go to a web page select text then begin to drag and the sidebar will go back to auto-hide.

  • I wish it would get fixed!! – timmay143 May 20 '11 at 21:12

Yes, it's a bug. What i do is start the expo plugin using the shortcut key and the launcher hides after that.

  • OK, I'll try that if I encounter the bug again. If someone else can independently verify that this trick works, I'll accept this answer instead of mine. :) – Josh Glover May 15 '11 at 9:13
  • the trick does not work for me – geoffrey May 31 '11 at 8:58

timmay143's workaround helped me. The bug seems to be fixed now: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/unity/+bug/769703. Fix not released for Natty yet.


I've had this issue for years. It looks like on Ubuntu v16.10, if I gesture on my trackpad with four fingers to the right, it opens the launcher permanently (disables autohide). If I gesture back left, it closes (reenables autohide). I don't see any other indication that I've changed workspaces.


None of the suggested solutions work for me (16.10) - not even going into autosettings and disabling then enabling autohide.

The ubuntu "start button" is highlighted like it has focus.

I could restart unity - but it's a pain when you have many docs open.

This is so annoying and I must admit that even though I like unity - the launcher is subpar - even if it wasn't buggy.

  • I just found MY solution - it might work for others too. Invoke the so called 'Launcher application switcher' and the focus on the start-button will disappear, allowing the launcher to hide again. The default key is SUPER+TAB (super is the same key as the 'Windows' key in Microsoft windows, and it's often marked with a windows-logo – Acebone Jan 27 '17 at 15:19
  • First post in this thread is from 2011 - none of the solutions, incl. my own works this time. – Acebone Mar 20 '17 at 4:45

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