How to reset Xfce session?

When I start Xfce4, it always opens 2 windows of Evince, Emacs and one terminal emulator. I remember I used this configuration once a week ago, but now it starts every time after logging in. How can I make Xfce4 start cleanly with no applications?

2 Answers 2


This question is answered in Xfce wiki, subsection Some of my applications are always started when I login:

There are two possible reasons why the application is started: It is saved in the last session or it is listed in the auto started applications. Follow 1 of the two steps below to get rid of the applications.

  • Start the xfce4-autostart-editor and remove the application(s). You can also manually delete those files in ~/Desktop/Autostart and ~/.config/autostart.

  • Most of the time closing all the applications and save your session when you logout is sufficient. If this doesn't work, remove the content of the ~/.cache/sessions/ directory when you're not logged in. And if you don't want xfce remember every session you should turn off (uncheck) “Automatically save session on logout” in Settings Manager → Sessions and Startup (tab General)

Run this:

rm -fr ~/.cache/sessions/*

and Xfce should starts cleanly.

Also, you might need to clear the entire .cache directory if the above doesn't fix the issues:

rm -fr ~/.cache
  • You meant rm -rf ... right.
    – d_rail
    Jul 15, 2014 at 23:36
  • 2
    I was able to fix a lot of XFCE4 problems by running rm -fr ~/.cache.
    – Geremia
    Aug 24, 2016 at 21:06
  • 1
    Pay attention that the cache folder may be another folder that ~/.cache it's defined by $XDG_CACHE_HOME Feb 6, 2018 at 10:08
  • I would not casually suggest to rm ~/.cache. Lots of other app may depend on subdirs in /cache, so the user may break a lot of things that have nothing to do with the issue.
    – Francky_V
    Dec 25, 2020 at 19:52

Using the GUI seems to work as it should, at least in my version of Xfce (4.10).

In Xfce Menu go to 'Session and Startup'

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And there, under Sesion/'Clear saved sessions':

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