I want to directly inspect the contents of my GNOME favorites bar. What is the file location for this bar?

(Similar questions focus on creating custom .desktop files in ~/.local/share/applications, setting the WM_CLASS, and pinning the running application. I am looking for direct access to the stored data.)


1 Answer 1


They are stored in ~/.config/dconf/user, the dconf database. You can’t edit that file directly, you need to use gsettings (for command-line access or use in scripts) or dconf-editor. The favourites are stored in /org/gnome/shell/favorite-apps;

gsettings get org.gnome.shell favorite-apps

will show the current value, and gsettings set will allow you to change it.

The values stored are names of .desktop files. These can be found in ~/.local/share/applications and in applications subdirectories of the entries in $XDG_DATA_DIRS (e.g. /usr/share/applications).

  • 4
    I'd like to add that to set the value it must be one string. You should enclose the output of get into quotes ". Feb 25, 2020 at 9:03

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