Restore the Default Gnome Panels in Ubuntu

Published on by Jim Mendenhall

Sometimes crazy things happen when you’re using Ubuntu, especially when you’re first getting started. It’s easy to mess things up and sometimes hard to get them back to normal. One problem I oftensee is that people accidentally delete their top or bottom panels (the bars that go across the top and bottom of your desktop and contain menus and other useful widgets). It can be especiallyfrustratingwhen your top panel disappears along with the Application Menu … what’s a person to do?

You mightsee instructions in a forum or on a blog post that tell you how “easy” it is to restore your default panels with some “simple” Terminal commands. While these commands might be easy for the seasoned Linux geek, they can be confusing for everyone else. In an attempt to make things as simple as possible, I edited a small program originally found here, and made something that will hopefully get you back to Ubuntu bliss as quickly as possible.

Introducing: PanelRestore

PanelRestore is a small program that will allow you to restore the default Ubuntu panels quickly (it will also allow you to backup and restore your existing panel configurations). Here’s how to use it.

1. Download PanelRestore - Right-click here and choose “Save Link As”. Save the PanelRestore.tar.gz file on your desktop.

2. Find the PanelRestore.tar.gz on your desktop, right-click on it and then click on “ExtractHere.”

Extract PanelRestore

3. You should now see another file on your desktop called “” Double click on this file and you will be presented with a pop-up window asking you what you want to do - click “Run.”

4. Now you will see the main program window. Here you have the choice to save your current panel settings and restore panel settings from a file, or to restore the default panel settings. Choose “Restore Default Panel Settings” and click “OK.”

5. If you’re sure that you want to restore the default Ubuntu panels, click “OK.”

6. Enjoy!