I am getting the gray box with a question mark in the middle of the icon for chrome, before it would show the chrome icon but now it's this ugly icon, I did fix it with a sudo apt-get install --reinstall google-chrome-stable and the icon came back, but it goes back to the gray box icon after a reboot.

Is there a permanent fix for this?

Edit: seems installing Google Chrome Beta or Unstable fixes Google Chromes Stable's icon to normal, will reboot after unstable installes

enter image description here

  • Hi Kyle, I noticed you practically never accepted an answer on your questions. That could be because the answer(s) simply didn't work, but also because you simply "forget". It is a useful however to make clear an answer works by accepting it. If my answer worked for you, would you consider accepting it? Jul 8, 2015 at 7:39

3 Answers 3


Google Chrome is famous for producing local .desktop files (launchers) in ~/.local/share/applications. The downside is that these .desktop files are not updated when the application is updated. Appearantly the latest update makes earlier .desktop files incompatible.

What to do

Navigate to ~/.local/share/applications, find and delete all launchers, related to Google Chrome, log out and back in. It should be fixed then.

  • 2
    Marking them as allow executing will mean you can see the icons. Their names are indescriptive: anlmfdlplepcaeifjippdehbmocbckmd. Also, press Alt+F2 and type r to restart X, rather than logging out.
    – Tim
    May 20, 2015 at 19:57
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    True, but in my experience Google Chrome gives away its identity in the .desktop files' name(s). I used log out/in for its " understanability" for average users. May 20, 2015 at 19:59

Your chrome extensions can cause this problem.

For example, my extension "Multiple Accounts for Outlook" causes this problem if enable "Shortcut On Apps Menu" in extension settings.

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    Welcome to Ask Ubuntu! I recommend editing this answer to expand it with specific details about how to solve this. (See also How do I write a good answer? for general advice about what sorts of answers are considered most valuable on AskUbuntu.) Jan 10, 2017 at 10:24

I would lurk around the install directory where Chromium is (probably somewhere is /usr/) and see if you find any .png, .bmp, or .jpg files (or just images in general). You may be able to manually deny deletion to it like this:

sudo chmod 644 [name]
sudo chown root:root [name]

That should prevent deletion, unless for some reason it's deleting it as root.

  • That's not where icons are stored on ubuntu. You're looking for /usr/share/icons/Humanity.
    – Tim
    May 20, 2015 at 20:02
  • well, after about three to four chrome restarts, open and closing it, the icon shows up. that a major bug? May 20, 2015 at 20:21
  • I meant recursively in /usr/
    – Daniel
    May 20, 2015 at 20:23
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    I found the fault, I have folders of my programs in folder by Unity Launcher Folders. Apparently, if I launch Google Chrome from the dock folder created by Unity Launcher Folders then I will get the grey question mark icon but if I launch it from the Dash, I get an icon. that's a weird bug. May 22, 2015 at 0:02

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