I accidentally removed one of the default panels in Ubuntu 9.04 which contained (among other items) my Dropbox icon, GMail notifier & battery meter.

This happened when I right-clicked what I thought was an icon to remove it, but instead the whole panel disappeared (the panel was located just to the left of the clock & volume control in the top right of the screen).

Now I can't get access to my Dropbox icon icon (have tried un/reinstalling) etc.

Anyone know how I can restore the panel, or failing that the Dropbox icon?

  • 4
    Just a tip: do a search for "Gnome restore panel," not "Ubuntu restore panel," when problems like this come up. You'll find more results because this has to do more with the desktop environment than with the distro.
    – Nikhil
    Jul 17, 2009 at 16:03
  • Good point Nikhil. I was searching on "ubuntu" rather than "gnome" (linux newbie me).
    – pelms
    Jul 17, 2009 at 18:37
  • Your question just saved my life :-) (and I learned something new) Oct 11, 2010 at 12:49

3 Answers 3


I generally use the following:

gconftool-2 --shutdown && rm -rf ~/.gconf/apps/panel && pkill gnome-panel

Please notice this will also reset the other panels. You can't restore one single panel.


Thanks for the suggestions guys.

It turns out that what was missing was the 'Notification area' - which itself contains various icons - rather than a whole panel (which explains why several icons disappeared when I clicked 'Remove from panel').

When I re-added this via 'Add to panel' all my missing stuff reappeared (Dropbox, Gmail notifier, battery meter etc).

alt text

  • On SuperUser, the convention is to leave a comment or edit uour original question with thanks, rather than create a whole new answer. Assuming you're new, welcome! Jul 17, 2009 at 18:58
  • I created a new answer as the existing ones didn't fix my problem (though they presumably would have if I had actually removed a 'panel' rather than the 'notification area' as I first thought).
    – pelms
    Jul 20, 2009 at 12:02
  • Actually, they did fix the described problem in the best way possible.
    – Dykam
    Jul 27, 2009 at 19:01
  • I think that for a Linux newbie, the distinction between a 'panel' and a 'notification area' - which both contain multiple icons within an area of the taskbar - is not obvious. I think there were clues in the question that I was using the wrong term (I did upvote the other answers as I'm sure they'd be useful to other users).
    – pelms
    Aug 23, 2009 at 3:30

I did this, too, and found this answer here:

Type this in terminal: sudo dpkg-reconfigure ubuntu-desktop

I personally think this is a giant usability problem - removing the panel should be a lot harder to do by mistake.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.