Is there any way to remove an application icon from the dash but keep it in the System Settings?

I find it useless to have them in the dash, and it really clutters the display there.. Accessing them from System Settings is the more logical way for me.

Specifically, I want to hide these icons:

enter image description here

From Here:

enter image description here

I tried editing the .desktop files, using various combinations of NotShowIn, OnlyShowIn, NoDisplay=true, etc. but it only hides the icon in BOTH places or in the System Settings only. Hiding them only in the Dash seems somewhat difficult.

Edit: To specify further: I want the single settings-icons that are visible in the System Settings window, hidden in the Unity Dash. That includes the applications "tab" - not only search results or recently-used applications.

  • possible duplicate of How can I keep recent files from appearing in Unity?
    – JoKeR
    Commented Jul 4, 2015 at 12:12
  • try simply to hide applications or folders from search so they do not appear in Unity dash search activity as stated in a link above. You can hide folders, applications etc.
    – JoKeR
    Commented Jul 4, 2015 at 12:14
  • I don't think this is related to that question. I am trying to hide actual .desktop entries, but keep them visible in the system settings window. That other question is about recently used items that are to be hidden.. Also, I still want to be able to search the OTHER applications - not hide them altogether..
    – founderio
    Commented Jul 4, 2015 at 12:16

1 Answer 1


Try this:

sudo -H gedit /usr/share/applications/gnome-control-center.desktop

Add this line:


Save and exit and try now

enter image description here

Hide those apps

To remove all apps founded in the system settings you have to do such as above for each app. Let's start with Appearance:

sudo -H gedit /usr/share/applications/gnome-background-panel.desktop

And add the line above then try.

Do this for other apps you want to hide

Hide from Dash keeping those in System Settings

create the directory ~/.local/share/applications if you don't have it

mkdir  ~/.local/share/applications

Copy the .desktop files of what you want to hide, Doing example here for Appearance.

cp /usr/share/applications/gnome-control-center.desktop ~/.local/share/applications/

giving permissions:

chmod +x ~/.local/share/applications/gnome-control-center.desktop 

Now edit and add "NODisplay"

gedit ~/.local/share/applications/gnome-control-center.desktop

Add the line


Save and exit then logout and login.

The icon will removed from Dash search keeping available in system settings

  • As expected, this hides the icon "System Settings" from the dash. BUT the specific settings icons are still there. And thos are what I wanted to hide...
    – founderio
    Commented Jul 4, 2015 at 11:50
  • Then What? Is it what you need?
    – Maythux
    Commented Jul 4, 2015 at 11:51
  • You have to do that for every app itself, i'll edit my answer
    – Maythux
    Commented Jul 4, 2015 at 11:51
  • Which is what I tried - but NoDisplay also causes the icon to vanish from System Settings
    – founderio
    Commented Jul 4, 2015 at 11:52
  • 1
    Brilliant, works like a charm! (One could even think about automating that via a script, so changes from updates are reflected in the copies.. I'll see what I can do.) Thanks!
    – founderio
    Commented Jul 4, 2015 at 12:32

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