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If you're using Unity and you want to reset Unity to its default settings, want to reset the Unity Launcher icons or you've changed some Compiz settings which have messed up Ubuntu and want to reset everything, here's how to do it.

Update: for Ubuntu 12.10 and 13.04, see: How To Reset Compiz And Unity In Ubuntu 12.10 Or 13.04.


Reset Unity


If you want to reset Unity (this will only reset the Unity settings in CompizConfig Settings Manager and leave the other CCSM settings intact), open a terminal (or press ALT + F2) and enter:
unity --reset


Reset Unity Launcher icons


If you want to reset the Unity Launcher icons (dock bar on the left) to their initial state, run the following command:
unity --reset-icons



Reset Compiz in Ubuntu 11.04 or newer


Update: for Ubuntu 12.10 and 13.04, see: How To Reset Compiz And Unity In Ubuntu 12.10 Or 13.04.


If you can't log in to Unity 3D or can't access a terminal, you can run the commands below either in a different session (Unity 2D, classic/fallback GNOME session, etc.), or by pressing CTRL + ALT + F1 (and when you're done, press CTRL + ALT + F7).

Reset Compiz

Resetting Compiz in Ubuntu 11.04, 11.10 or newer is a bit different then in older Ubuntu versions because its settings in gconf are under /apps/compiz-1 and not under /apps/compiz like before.

Warning: only do this if you really must and have no other option! Use both commands, or else you might not see the Unity launcher and top panel anymore! Use it at your own risk.

To reset all the Compiz settings (this includes all the plugins settings, etc.) to the default values, open a terminal (don't run it with ALT + F2! The top panel and launcher will disappear after running the first command but will show up after the second one so use a terminal) and type:
gconftool-2 --recursive-unset /apps/compiz-1
gconftool-2 --recursive-unset /apps/compizconfig-1
unity --reset

You can also try:
rm -rf ~/.config/compiz-1/compizconfig/*

If something doesn't look right after this, log out and log back in.
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