Unable to Remove / Hide Gnome Desktop Icons

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On the latest version of the Gnome desktop the desktop icons remain on the desktop.  By default the desktop icons are hidden, but the icons are still showing even when checking the settings and verifying the configuration is to hide the desktop icons.

Background / Cause

The cause of this is installing additional packages that interfere with the defaults of gnome and Nautilus file manager.  Installing Nemo file manager overrides the Nautilus settings.


To make changes to the desktop icons after installing Nemo, the configuration of Nemo must be modified in order to change the desktop icons configuration.  Opening dConf editor and locating the settings for Nemo will allow changes to be made the the desktop.  To open dConf editor, press the following key combination on the keyboard …


… type dconf, and press “enter”.  This set of tasks will open the run command line, and run the system editor.  Once the window is open, on the left side, in the tree view, drill down to the Nemo settings by the following path:

 org -> nemo -> desktop

dConf editor tree

The settings on the right side of the window will allow you to make changes to the desktop including adding or removing icons from the desktop.

dConf settings for Desktop

Known Issues / Troubleshooting

Problem: | Unable to locate nemo in the dConf editor window

Solution: | Nemo file manager may not be installed, using the Applications search for the Gnome desktop, type nemo and verify it is installed.

Problem: | Making changes to the nemo desktop settings in dConf editor doesn’t change anything on the desktop

Solution: | It is assumed the installation of the Nemo file manager package caused this issue.  Other variables may be affecting the ability to hide / show the desktop icons.  Further discovery and troubleshooting may be required.



Last Updated On October 24, 2017