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Sometime things break. It can be Compiz, the Gnome panels and so on. And if you cannot access their options, you cannot remove the faulty settings so one way to solve this would be to completely reset their settings.

But I've actually wrote this post for something trivial: because I receive A LOT of emails asking how to restore the sound icon (part of Indicator Applet) or some other Gnome Panel applets / indicators to their original state. Well, here it is:

Before reseting the Gnome Panel, if you just have some icon display issue, firstly try to restart the panel:
killall gnome-panel

If that fails, reset the Gnome Panels (will add both the Gnome panels and applets just like they were when you first intalled Ubuntu / other Linux distribution). Open a terminal and paste this:

gconftool-2 --recursive-unset /apps/panel
killall gnome-panel

To reset the Compiz settings, the command is similar:
gconftool-2 --recursive-unset /apps/compiz
compiz --replace

The "gconftool-2 --recursive-unset" command should work with any application which stores its settings in Gconf (to see them all, press Alt + F2 and enter: gconf-editor). But it will (obviously) only reset the settings stored in Gconf so if you reset the Rhythmbox settings for example, the library won't be removed. And since I brought Rhythmbox into discussion, here is how to reset its music database:

Ubuntu 9.10 and newer:
rm ~/.local/share/rhythmbox/rhythmdb.xml

Older Ubuntu versions:
rm ~/.gnome2/rhythmbox/rhythmdb.xml

Ubuntu Tweak also includes an option to reset the Gconf settings, starting with version 0.5.6.