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

Last updated: 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.


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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)