How to Speed up Application Search in the Unity Dash


Running Ubuntu on an old laptop? Well, you may found that the Dash for searching files and installed applications is a little slow and heavy.

Here I’m going to show you how to speed up the Dash by disabling unwanted search results and doing a little tweak on graphics settings.

1. Disable undesired search results.

First, you may install Dconf Editor from Ubuntu Software Center.


Once installed, open dconf-Editor and then navigate to com > canonical > unity > dash. In the Scopes line remove the scopes you don’t use. I only use the Dash for searching installed applications, so it ended up looking like this:

[‘home.scope’, ‘applications.scope’]

Also in dconf-Editor window, navigate to com > canonical > unity > lenses. Remove unwanted values in always search, home-lens-default-view, home-lens-priority, and set remote-content-search to ‘none’. In my case it looks like:


Now open System Settings > Security & Privacy, you may:

  • disable recording and clear cache under File & Applications tab.
  • disable Amazon searching results under Search tab.

2. Reduce Graphic effects

After previous settings, your Unity Dash should be faster than before. If that is not enough, do below steps to reduce graphic effects on the Dash.

1. Search for and install compizconfig-settings-manager from Ubuntu Software Center.

2. Once installed, search for CCSM and launch it from the Dash. When it opens, find out Ubuntu Unity Plugin icon and click to go to its setting page.

Disable Dash blur effect by setting its value to no blur:


3. (Optional since below setting affects the whole system) In CCSM main window, click to go to OpenGL settings page and set value of Texture Filter to Fast.


Log out and back in. Enjoy!

About ml

ml is a part time stay-at-home dad who've been using Ubuntu Desktop for a few years. He writes in the free time and wishes to share some useful tips with Ubuntu beginners and lovers.