Icons sometimes disappear from the Panel notification area when Ubuntu 14.04 starts up. Not the same icon disappears every time, and only one icon disappears at a time. This happens infrequently, and I have also seen it happen on older versions of Ubuntu. The next time I start up Ubuntu, all of the Panel icons are back in the notification area of the Panel where they should be.

Here are some examples of icons that have disappeared from the Panel notification area at startup.

  • battery indicator
  • network indicator
  • Thunderbird Mail
  • sound
  • clock
  • icon (gear in Unity / enter image description here in GNOME) for accessing functions such as Lock/Log Out/Suspend/Restart/Shut Down, etc. from a dropdown menu

All of these icons have disappeared from the Panel at least once, however the indicator icon for Psensor temperature monitor application which usually takes about one minute after startup to appear on the Panel notification area has never disappeared from the Panel at startup.

How can I make a missing Panel icon reappear without rebooting the operating system? I would prefer a general solution that works for any of the missing icons in the list.

  • You could try by reinstalling Ubuntu desktop: sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop
    – Tim
    Jun 18, 2014 at 12:30
  • Check its log for errors ~/.cache/upstart/unity-panel-service.log , previous logs are compressed in same folder.
    – user.dz
    Jun 20, 2014 at 6:53
  • @user.dz I checked those logs and found some messages that said something like: (unity-panel-service:xxxx): Indicator-Appmenu-WARNING **: Already have a menu for window ID xxxxxxxx with path /com/canonical/menu/XXXXXXX from :x.xxx, unregistering that one where the Xs are numbers, not the same numbers every time. I checked all of the log archives and I found a message like that in every one of them. There are also some non-default icons in my Panel's notification area that I sometimes open/close/reopen.
    – karel
    Oct 15, 2016 at 9:52

1 Answer 1


It happens to me to from time to time. I don't know the cause.

To make the missing panel indicators reappear without rebooting you can restart the indicators manually by running the following command in a terminal or with Alt+F2

restart unity-panel-service  

The panel indicators will blink off for a second, and then all of the panel indicators will restart and immediately reappear.

In Ubuntu 15.04 and later restart the panel indicators manually by running the following command:

systemctl --user restart unity-panel-service   

In Ubuntu 17.10 and later GNOME has replaced Unity as the default desktop environment. To make the missing panel indicators reappear without rebooting in Ubuntu 17.10 and later run the following command:

setsid gnome-shell --replace # Press Enter again before closing the terminal.

setsid gnome-shell --replace restarts the GNOME shell without closing any open applications. For example, after restarting the GNOME shell an existing Firefox window and all of its existing tabs would remain open.


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