I don’t use VLC that much to have it there, so I would like to remove it from the sound menu in the top right. I found a small image to show what it looks like (the sound menu is open and shows VLC along with other music players).

enter image description here

Sorry for giving a very low resolution image.

  • I asked this question before, so this is sort of a duplicate. Although this asks just about removing VLC from the sound menu, versus stopping it from continually appearing. Not sure if both answers should stay open. askubuntu.com/questions/455940/…
    – Fern Moss
    May 23, 2014 at 16:54
  • Nick, I edited my answer to prevent it from (permanently) reurning to the soundmenu. May 23, 2014 at 18:48
  • yep, it keeps appearing whenever i use vlc. im looking through internet tutorials of how to disable it in preferences and cant find it cuz my version is too new. its called "D-Bus" May 24, 2014 at 19:17
  • Possible duplicate: askubuntu.com/questions/177652/disable-vlcs-mpris-plugian Dec 8, 2015 at 2:24

5 Answers 5


To disable VLC in sound menu, follow the steps:

  1. Move VLC DBus plugin

     sudo mv /usr/lib/vlc/plugins/control/libdbus_plugin.so /usr/lib/vlc/plugins/control/libdbus_plugin.so.backup
  2. Open dconf-editor, Remove vlc.desktop from:


    Or just reset it through terminal

     dconf reset /com/canonical/indicator/sound/interested-media-players

Note: Someones may like to Modify sound indicator menu to hide controls from inactive player or remove it after closeing. In other words, Running players have full controls, Closed ones either only launcher (no control buttons) or disappear totally from menu.

  • 3
    This fix works as well!
    – Fern Moss
    May 24, 2014 at 18:35
  • It's not clear whether 1 & 2 are two solution options or two steps to the same solution. Mar 27, 2021 at 19:19
  • 1
    @jessexknight they are 2 steps.
    – user.dz
    Mar 27, 2021 at 19:49

How to remove VLC from the sound menu / How to prevent VLC from reappearing in the sound menu.

Removing VLC from the sound menu

GUI method

  • Install dconf editor
  • Open dconf-editor, and browse to: com/canonical/indicator/sound

enter image description here

  • In the list of soundmenu (interested-media-players) items, remove the application(s) you do not need / want to appear in the menu. Close the dconf-editor.

enter image description here

  • Done, VLC disappeared from the menu.

enter image description here enter image description here

Command line method

  • To read the current menu items:

    gsettings get com.canonical.indicator.sound interested-media-players

    gives an output like:

    ['rhythmbox.desktop', 'vlc.desktop']
  • To remove VLC, remove vlc.desktop from the list and set the changed menu by the command:

    gsettings set com.canonical.indicator.sound interested-media-players "['rhythmbox.desktop']"

Preventing VLC from returning in the sound menu (14.04)

The solution removes VLC from the sound menu, but if you start VLC, it will appear again in the sound menu. The script below does not prevent that, but immediately and automatically removes it once VLC is closed.

To use it:

Copy the script below, paste it in an empty textfile and save it as vlc, make it executable. Then copy the vlc.desktop file from /usr/share/applications to ~/.local/share/applications and replace the (first) line starting with Exec= by Exec=/path/to/script/vlc. Log out and back in. The desktopfile will be redirected to the script, the script will start VLC and wait for it to stop and remove VLC from the soundmenu immediately.

import subprocess
import getpass
import time

curruser = getpass.getuser()

def read_currentmenu():
    # read the current launcher contents
    get_menuitems = subprocess.Popen([
        "gsettings", "get", "com.canonical.indicator.sound", "interested-media-players"
        ], stdout=subprocess.PIPE)
    return eval((get_menuitems.communicate()[0].decode("utf-8")))

def set_current_menu(current_list):
    # preparing subprocess command string
    current_list = str(current_list).replace(", ", ",")
        "gsettings", "set", "com.canonical.indicator.sound", "interested-media-players",

current_list = read_currentmenu()
for item in current_list:
    if item == "vlc.desktop":

Other applications

This method / script can also be used for other applications in the sound menu. Two lines in the last section of the script need to be altered then, according to the other application:

if item == "vlc.desktop":  (change to desktop file of the application)


subprocess.call(["/usr/bin/vlc"]) (change the command to run the application)
  • I did the terminal method because I didnt want to install unneeded applications. thank you, it worked instantly May 19, 2014 at 16:02
  • 1
    I agree! if not necessary, I'd prefer not to install addition software. Glad it worked out. May 19, 2014 at 16:05
  • But it will be readded as soon as you open VLC again...
    – Fern Moss
    May 23, 2014 at 16:36
  • Correction: as soon as you start playing a video in VLC again.
    – Fern Moss
    May 23, 2014 at 16:50
  • 1
    @NickBailuc I tried, and you are right, I will get back to you on this! Jun 14, 2014 at 18:33

Show user defined applications in the soundmenu only if they run

The solution below is flexibly usable for mutiple applications at once with a position in the sound menu. User can define (and change) which applications have a permanent position in the menu, and which ones should be removed from the sound menu after they are closed.

enter image description here enter image description here

What it is and what it does

The solution exists of a script that runs from startup (login). It allows user defined applications to appear in the sound menu, but removes those applications from the soundmenu after they close.

The script has no effect on the functionality of the desktop files. I could not notice any effect on the processor load, memory usage is negligible.

how to use

  • Copy the script below into an empty file, save it as cleanup_soundmenu.py

  • In the line starting with no_show =, applications are set which should be cleaned up from the menu after they are closed. Two examples are set: ['rhythmbox', 'vlc']. The names are derrived from their desktop files, stripped from .desktop.

  • In the line, starting with cleanup_interval, user can define the interval between the clean up checks. By default it is 10 seconds.

  • Add the following line to Startup Applications (Dash > Startup Applications > Add):

    python3 /path/to/cleanup_soundmenu.py

On next login, defined application will be cleaned from sound menu if they are not running.

The script

#!/usr/bin/env python3

import subprocess
import time
import getpass

no_show = ['rhythmbox', 'vlc'] # add names here, to set apps not to show
cleanup_interval = 10 # cleanup interval (in seconds)

curruser = getpass.getuser()

def createlist_runningprocs():
    processesb = subprocess.Popen(
        ["ps", "-u", curruser],
    process_listb = (processesb.communicate()[0].decode("utf-8")).split("\n")
    return process_listb

def read_soundmenu():
    # read the current launcher contents
    get_menuitems = subprocess.Popen([
        "gsettings", "get",
        ], stdout=subprocess.PIPE)
        return eval(get_menuitems.communicate()[0].decode("utf-8"))
    except SyntaxError:
        return []

def set_soundmenu(new_list):
    # set the launcher contents
        "gsettings", "set",

def check_ifactionneeded():
    snd_items = read_soundmenu()
    procs = createlist_runningprocs()
    remove = [item+".desktop" for item in no_show if not item in str(procs)]
    if len(remove) != 0:
        for item in remove:
            except ValueError:
        return snd_items

while 1 != 0:
    new_list = check_ifactionneeded()
    if new_list != None:
  • Yes it works, but running a check every 10 secondes for an event that may happen once or twice per session seems extremely inefficient.
    – Lilley
    Mar 11, 2015 at 0:24
  • @Lilley getting values from gsettings is extremely light, and be aware of the fact that the system runs all kinds of loops constantly. Mar 11, 2015 at 5:23

Ubuntu 14.04 simple solution (only one command, no sudo, no script).

Open Terminal application, then copy, paste and execute one of the following command. After that the sound indicator will be automatically cleaned out after VLC exits.

  1. don't leave any entry within the sound indicator:

    (mkdir -p ~/.local/share/applications);(cp /usr/share/applications/vlc.desktop ~/.local/share/applications);(sed -i 's/Exec=\/usr\/bin\/vlc --started-from-file %U/Exec=sh -c "\/usr\/bin\/vlc --started-from-file %U; gsettings reset com.canonical.indicator.sound interested-media-players"/' ~/.local/share/applications/vlc.desktop)
  2. leave Rhythmbox entry within the sound indicator:

    (mkdir -p ~/.local/share/applications);(cp /usr/share/applications/vlc.desktop ~/.local/share/applications);(sed -i 's/Exec=\/usr\/bin\/vlc --started-from-file %U/Exec=sh -c "\/usr\/bin\/vlc --started-from-file %U; gsettings set com.canonical.indicator.sound interested-media-players \\\"['\'rhythmbox.desktop\'']\\\""/' ~/.local/share/applications/vlc.desktop)
  3. undo changes:

    rm ~/.local/share/applications/vlc.desktop

This an article about how to add this feature do the opposite scenario:

Tools -> Preferences -> all -> Interface -> Control Interface -> D-Bus Control interface

  • 3
    This option is no longer present in VLC.
    – Fern Moss
    May 25, 2014 at 17:02
  • D'oh it exists for me, perhaps i've an old version ..
    – Hedwig
    May 25, 2014 at 17:30

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