In Ubuntu 17.10, how do I rearrange the application icons in the dock area?
I have tried many ways but failed, such as:

  1. right-click the icons
  2. left-click or right-click the empty space in the dock

2 Answers 2


Drag & drop! See the animated image below.

enter image description here

The solution above may be outdated or non-working. To rearrange the icons of the applications "pinned" (i.e. added to favourites) to the dock in the Terminal way, do this:

First open Terminal and run

gsettings get org.gnome.shell favorite-apps

You should get the list of .desktop files associated to the applications pinned to the dock in order, something like the following:

['appname-1.desktop', 'appname-2.desktop', 'appname-3.desktop', 'appname-4.desktop', 'appname-5.desktop']

Suppose you want to move the icon of the application associated to appname-3.desktop to the first position. In that case, run

gsettings set org.gnome.shell favorite-apps "['appname-3.desktop', 'appname-1.desktop', 'appname-2.desktop', 'appname-4.desktop', 'appname-5.desktop']"

and so on.

  • Favourite icons can also be edited using the excellent dconf Editor at /org/gnome/shell/favorite-apps. If not installed, use apt-get install dconf-editor -y.
    – AlainD
    Sep 11, 2019 at 14:26

Also for users of Ubuntu 18.04. If you have the Auto-hide the Dock (the Dock hides when a window overlaps) option activated you need to turn it off first so you can drag & drop your icons to rearrange them on the Dock (Settings > Dock > Auto-hide the Dock). It looks that this option also locks the Dock icons without mention it in the option hints or other documentation.


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