Remove Unity Launcher & Alt-Tab Switcher ‘Tile’ Background in Ubuntu

Unity Launcher Flat

For those who dislike the glossy square tile backgrounds in the Unity Launcher icons and Alt-Tab Switcher, Without changing GTK theme, there’s a simple script called unity-flatify-icons to “flatten Ubuntu Unity’s launcher icons”.

The script does not flatten the application icons, it accurately removes the tile backgrounds for un-opened application icons, and for opened applications uses new flat style boxes.

It also removes the background cube from the Alt-Tab Switcher:

Alt Tab Switcher without background cube

To get started:

1. Download the script from github page:

Download unity-flatify-icons (.zip)

After downloaded the archive, extract it and you’ll get the folder.

unity flatify icons script folder

2. Open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T), run commands to navigate to that folder, and run the script:

cd ~/Downloads/unity-flatify-icons-master/


run unity flatify script

While the script is running, type your password when it prompts and hit Enter.

To apply changes, just log out and back in.

Restore the original Unity Launcher / Alt-Tab

Just re-install the libunity-core-6.0-9 package will replace all the icons file with original. Open terminal and run command:

sudo apt install --reinstall libunity-core-6.0-9

Also log out and back in to see effect.

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.