I want to open the Application lens in the Unity Dash as the default lens, since I much more open a programm then searching for a Wikipedia article, the weather or anything else the Home lens offers.

Here How do I show the Applications Lens By Default? and here What are Unity's keyboard and mouse shortcuts? are the same questions, but the suggested answers don't work anymore on Trusty.

I know that I can open the Application lens with Superkey + A but I just would like to press Superkey to open it.

An alternative would be to only get online suggestions when specifically asked for them, but even though I just select the application scope in the filter section I get some useless online results. BTW, I don't want to open the online search results in general, since I just reactivated them to try it out.

Answer but no solution: Just found this bug report https://bugs.launchpad.net/unity/+bug/1089010. Till it will be fixed JohnnyEnglish's answer as a workaround will is the best.

  • Well, whatever I edit in the com>canonical>unity>lenses section, the home lens stays the default to open on Super Key. And as soon I type something e.g. "spring" for springseed I get no just the application I'm looking for but also the weather of Colorado Springs. The parameters are set like this now: always-search = ['applications-scope']; home-lens-default-view=['applications.scope']
    – meles
    Jun 8, 2014 at 11:18

5 Answers 5


install dconf if you don't have it sudo apt-get install dconf-editor if you want to use GUI way, in dconf go to com > canonical > unity > lenses all the rest you can find here

If you want to disable maximum per-monitor scale-factor go to dconf then navigate to com > canonical > unity > interface and uncheck the ticked box.

If you want to swap your Home .scope with Applications .scope go to dconf then navigate to com > canonical > unity > dash and change the order of .scopes the way that you desire or uncomment any if you want to.

How to hide or disable a reference in Dash results from searching in remote and commercial sources go to dconf then navigate to com > canonical > unity > lenses click on remote-content-search and change all to none.

  • 1
    Thats the same as you just commented before, and it is not realy referring to my question especially the second part. My question is: I want to open the Application lens in the Unity Dash as the default lens. How can i achieve that?
    – meles
    Jun 8, 2014 at 11:42
  • Yes! Or if not possible just show the applications when not especially asked for online results. Referring to the suggestion of changing the order: unfortunately it just changes the order but doesn't open the applications lens when pressing the super key, even though it is the first.
    – meles
    Jun 8, 2014 at 12:18
  • If I go to com > canonical > unity > interfaces the only checked box there is app-fallback-to-maximum-scale-factor. If I uncheck this and log out and log in again I still get all the results.
    – meles
    Jun 8, 2014 at 13:24
  • thats right, I didn't understand this. It's an improvement thank you! But anyway it is still not the thing I want it to do. Imagine I'm on my non flatrate simcard and I don't want to waste any traffic volume (yes even in 2014 that exists). Is there no way to turn the search in all scopes off by default but to have it accessable when wanting it. And all that with just one key strike.
    – meles
    Jun 8, 2014 at 13:41
  • found a perfect way out for you! let me re-edit my answer
    – JoKeR
    Jun 8, 2014 at 14:03

One command to solve it all!

gsettings set com.canonical.Unity.Lenses always-search "['applications.scope']"

That will make dash search by default, only on the application scope. EASY AS!

No need to install no programs. Just enter it in the command line, and restart your computer to see the changes taking effect.

If you are interested in getting rid of the useless lenses and scopes and dash plugins, please read my answer to a similar question:

Sources: my answers to a Boarder Question: How to disable all scopes, filters and dash plugins?


Navigate to com > canonical > unity, then add 'home.scopes' to hidden scopes in lenses and add 'applications.scope' as the first entry in dash using dconf-editor.


you can uninstall all lenses/scopes except "applications"

sudo apt-get --purge remove unity-lens-files unity-lens-friends unity-lens-music unity-lens-photos unity-lens-video unity-scope-audacious unity-scope-calculator unity-scope-chromiumbookmarks unity-scope-clementine unity-scope-colourlovers unity-scope-devhelp unity-scope-firefoxbookmarks  unity-scope-gdrive  unity-scope-gmusicbrowser unity-scope-gourmet    unity-scope-guayadeque unity-scope-zotero  unity-scope-yelp unity-scope-virtualbox unity-scope-video-remote unity-scope-tomboy unity-scope-texdoc unity-scope-openclipart unity-scope-musique unity-scope-musicstores unity-scope-manpages

unfortunately the default view is still "home" which is always empty

  • Thanks for the suggestion but I don't think it's a very good option.
    – meles
    Jan 23, 2015 at 14:16

It is not an exact answer to the question, just one more workarond, but quite satisfactory for me. I have added 'applications.scope' in front of home-lens-priority list (com > canonical > unity > lenses in dconf-editor), and the home lens started to search for applications first, very quickly. Though it also shows all the other things (files, folders, etc.) with some delay.

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