I have the weirdest problem. Software Updater will occasionally not display in Unity on 14.04. If I manually start Software Updater everything works fine, but if there are updates and the window (should) pops up, I can't access the window. I can see the little triangle next to the icon in the launcher saying there's a window, but the window is nowhere to be seen. If I right click to close it and then launch it then everything is fine.

How do I find this hidden window or figure out what the problem might be?

  • You can try Alt+F7 as a shortcut to begin moving the window, just moving the mouse should then let you move the window. – Nattgew May 13 '14 at 15:31
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    That doesn't work either. If I click on the icon in the tray it doesn't get focus. Any other ones that I click do. This seems to only happen when the SU does it's own popup – user1146334 May 14 '14 at 14:47
  • Same problem here, all updates installed, no workspaces enabled. – Werner Henze Jul 16 '14 at 15:10
  • Are you using an AMD video card? There's a lot of mention of AMD surrounding this issue at this question. – Drew Noakes Oct 16 '14 at 9:16
  • I am. I have a Radeon HD 5450 – user1146334 Oct 16 '14 at 12:44

Having the same problem, I found I can click on the icon in the tray once and not see anything happen, but click on it one more time and the window appears as it normally would, just like clicking the icon once to minimize the window and clicking again to re-display that window; annoying but slightly faster than restarting Update Manager from the menu.

This has been reported as a bug on Launchpad:


  • I've had that with other applications (google-chrome for example) but this issue with Software Updater is different for me at least. I really can't find a way to display it, nor to give it the focus. – Drew Noakes Oct 16 '14 at 9:04
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    the fix listed in that bug report is to do: wmctrl -R 'Software Updater' – krumpelstiltskin Feb 7 '15 at 9:34

It was a workspace-related issue for me. I have 3 monitors arranged such that they don't add up to a rectangular X-screen. When I press Super+S to get the workspace switcher, I can see the "invisible dead space" in a corner. The software updater had the misfortune of being opened in one of these dead corners!

|        |        |    *SU*
|        |        |    
|  Scr1  |  Scr2  +------------+ 
|        |        |            | 
|        |        |   Scr3     |
|        |        |            |

 *SU*  = Software updater window

From the switcher, I was able to drag it to a visible location.


It sounds as if the Software Updater window is in a separate workspace. Check to see if you have multiple workspaces enabled in Unity by checking the Appearance program:

Appearance > Behaviour > Enable Workspaces

If so, disable it and the Software Updater should pop back up in your single workspace.

  • I don't have workspaces enabled. – user1146334 May 13 '14 at 18:50
  • I have, and the window is not on another workspace. – Gauthier Sep 6 '14 at 19:06
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    Even if it were in another workspace, clicking the icon in the sidebar should move you to that workspace. I'm experiencing this problem and it's definitely not a workspace issue for me. – Drew Noakes Oct 16 '14 at 9:09

I had the same problem -- there's a little triangle next to the Software Updater in the launcher in Ubuntu 14.04, but I don't see its window even after I clicked on that icon.

This is apparently a bug.

One work-around: I fixed it by opening up a terminal window and typing

sudo apt-get update

and hitting enter.

After apt-get finishes, then hitting the Software Updater icon (or clicking the Dash Home icon, then in the search box typing "Software Updater" then enter to run it) now opens a small "Software Updater" window in the middle of the screen.

(related: Software Updater is not starting in Ubuntu 14.04 )

  • Starting Software Updater from the launcher seems to work. Until now I've seen the invisibility problem whenever Ubuntu is prompting for an update by its own initiative. Let's see whether it actually appears next time this occurs... – Drew Noakes Oct 16 '14 at 9:08
  • ...aaaand no. This morning I arrived at work and the icon appeared again in my dock, and no window can be activated. – Drew Noakes Oct 17 '14 at 8:49
  • This seemed to work because the window is hidden only when Software Updater launches automatically, not when it is actively launched. I'm running 14.10 and started getting this bug, even though Software Updater ran perfectly in 14.04 for the same hardware. – eksortso Oct 29 '14 at 14:49

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