How to Change the ‘Show Applications’ Grid Icon in Ubuntu 18.04

January 20, 2019

gnome shell

For those boring with the default ‘Show Applications‘ button in Ubuntu 18.04 left panel, here’s how to replace it with your desired icon without installing a new icon theme.

In Ubuntu 18.04 Gnome Shell, the ‘Show Applications’ button in the bottom-left corner relies on view-app-grid-symbolic.svg icon file located in /usr/share/icons/Adwaita/scalable/actions/.

By replacing the icon file, you’ll get a brand new ‘Show Applications’ icon in the dock.

1. Open terminal either via Ctrl+Alt+T keyboard shortcut, or from applcation menu.

2. Paste the following command and hit run to backup the original icon file:

sudo cp -p /usr/share/icons/Adwaita/scalable/actions/view-app-grid-symbolic.svg /usr/share/icons/Adwaita/scalable/actions/view-app-grid-symbolic.svg.bak

Type user password (no asterisks feedback) when it prompts and hit Enter.

3. Prepare your desired .svg icon file. In my case, it’s gnome-launcher.svg located in my ‘Downloads’ folder.

4. Copy your .svg to the original file location:

sudo cp /path/to/your/svg /usr/share/icons/Adwaita/scalable/actions/view-app-grid-symbolic.svg

In my case, the command is:

sudo cp ~/Downloads/gnome-launcher.svg /usr/share/icons/Adwaita/scalable/actions/view-app-grid-symbolic.svg

5. Finally, run command to refresh the icon cache:

cd /usr/share/icons && sudo gtk-update-icon-cache Adwaita

Or simply log out and login back to apply the change.

How to Restore:

As you’ve made a backup in step 2, simply copy the file back via command:

sudo cp -p /usr/share/icons/Adwaita/scalable/actions/view-app-grid-symbolic.svg.bak /usr/share/icons/Adwaita/scalable/actions/view-app-grid-symbolic.svg

And refresh icon cache or log out and back in.

I'm a freelance blogger who started using Ubuntu 5+ years ago and wishes to share my experiences and some useful tips with Ubuntu beginners and lovers. Please notify me if you find any typo/grammar/language mistakes. English is not my native language. Contact me on Google Plus or email to ubuntuhandbook1@gmail.com

One response to How to Change the ‘Show Applications’ Grid Icon in Ubuntu 18.04

  1. This solution didnt work for me on Ubuntu 18.04. My solution was go to / usr / share / gnome-shell / theme / communitheme (because I use this theme) and replace the
    ubuntu-appgrid-icon.svg file
    To se the changes press alt + f2 and enter “r” (without quotation marks)