How to Pin Application Shortcut Icons to Desktop in Ubuntu 19.04

April 22, 2019 — 7 Comments

gnome shell

This quick tutorial shows how to pin your application launcher icons to the Gnome Desktop in Ubuntu 19.04.

In Ubuntu 19.04 Gnome 3.32, instead of Nautilus file browser the desktop icons are now handled by Gnome Shell extension. This makes some difference on the settings.

To create desktop shortcut icons for installed applications, do following steps one by one.

1. Open file browser, navigate to Other Locations -> Computer, then go to directory usr -> share -> applications.

Then select the .desktop files of which you want to pin to desktop. Copy them either via Ctrl+C or by choosing ‘Copy’ from right-click menu.

2. Click on the blank area on your desktop. Right-click and choose ‘Paste’ (or Ctrl+V) to paste them to the desktop.

3. Finally right-click on each desktop file, and choose “Allow Launching“.

Now you’re able to click these icons to launch corresponding applications. And simply remove an icon if you don’t want it any more.

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

7 responses to How to Pin Application Shortcut Icons to Desktop in Ubuntu 19.04

  1. how do I put gimp 2.10.10 in Spanish.
    I update with the ppa kesselgulasch ..
    in edit-preferences-interface only English language comes out.

  2. I am not getting the “Allow Launching” option in the pop-up menu.

  3. This doesn’t work. the icons don’t show up and the .desktop file just opens in builder or the text editor whichever you set as default. it does not run the program

  4. If .desktop links do not work anymore after upgrading Ubuntu, edit existing links with ‘gnome-desktop-item-edit ~/Desktop/link-name.desktop’. You might have to change the name or comment of it, afterwards “Allow Launching” should be visible.

    • Kent Dahlgren May 31, 2019 at 7:40 pm

      gnome-desktop-item-edit doesn’t appear to be installed by default. After installation:

      gnome-desktop-item-edit ~/Desktop/eclipse.desktop

      (gnome-desktop-item-edit:16134): Gtk-CRITICAL **: 12:37:13.330: gtk_tree_model_get_iter_first: assertion ‘GTK_IS_TREE_MODEL (tree_model)’ failed
      ERROR:panel-ditem-editor.c:726:panel_ditem_editor_setup_ui: code should not be reached

  5. Victor Cabral Vida June 23, 2019 at 2:18 pm

    Amazing, you are my hero.

  6. I’d like to put them on my menu line. After putting them on my desktop as described, I’d LOVE to just drag them down to the menu bar, but that doesn’t work.

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