Saturday, April 24, 2010

Ubuntu 10.04: How to remove chat and mail icons (indicators) from system tray

The 10.04 LTS release of Ubuntu seems to be very, very good. However, for some strange reason, creators of this release made some strange decisions about Ubuntu's look-and-feel. One of the things that annoyed me was the assumption that every Ubuntu user, uses Twitter, Facebook or other social network. Thus, they incorporated the tools for using social networking sites into the distibution. They did it by adding chat and status icons/notifiers into Gnome system try. However, what they did not do, was the ability to easily remove them. For example, when you remove massage notifier (mail icon) using "Remove From Panel" option, the volume control icon also disappears.
Thus you need to remove these icons some other way, which in this case, is to remove two packages: indicator-me and indicator-messages:sudo apt-get remove indicator-me indicator-messagesAfter that just log-out and log-into the gnome session and the icons should be gone:

It also should work for Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal).


  1. Thanks a bunch! Worked like a charm. I hated some of those new changes.

  2. Anonymous1:56 AM


    Do you by any chance know how to get the volume control back if you accidentaly pressed "Remove from panel" (before discovering this page)?

  3. Yes. Just use "Add to panel" and select Indicator Applet.

  4. Anonymous4:15 AM

    Thanks! =)

  5. Nice tip, thanks! That envelope icon was making me crazy.

  6. how do you add the chat icon back?

  7. Anonymous3:56 PM

    sudo apt-get install indicator-me indicator-messages

  8. Thank you!!!!
    Nice to quit those useless icons

  9. sithchikken11:44 PM

    Genius. Thanks

  10. Anonymous11:13 AM

    Thank you. Just what I needed.

  11. Thanks a lot!
    I don't like to see what I'm not going to use. Much cleaner now.

  12. Excellent, excellent!

  13. Anonymous7:39 PM

    Excellent! ( ^^)/

  14. Anonymous6:54 AM

    Alternatively, just enter "killall gnome-panel" in a terminal instead of logging out/in of gnome. The panel will auto-restart after a few seconds with the indicators gone.

  15. Anonymous7:49 AM

    thanks - worked perfectly! I hate it when they take the option away from you - this is supposed to be open software!

  16. Anonymous3:03 AM

    thank you man

  17. Anonymous6:03 AM

    thanks! That was annoying me too!

  18. Anonymous12:20 AM

    Thanks! I hate these stupid indicators and I'm glad to be rid of them. It was very short sighted of the people behind ubuntu to force these on everyone with no easy way to remove them.

  19. Anonymous9:33 AM

    G R E A T post!

  20. Anonymous2:25 PM

    thank you for this. and i agree completely, facebook and twitter are for jr high kiddies and have no place as permanent fixtures of my operating system

  21. Uhm, what if the machine is a multi-user machine? Seems there should be a way to configure these away!

  22. Anonymous9:47 AM

    Thanks. It is great.

  23. Anonymous2:57 PM really are a genius! Thanks!

  24. there are few icons which look like the internet icon got added when my wife was browsing, and am trying to find a way clean them. I hope i can get an answer from here...

    Please advice,

    thank you

  25. It is a nice tip on removing useless icons and chat in the control panel. Sometimes they are not needed .So better they are being removed.

  26. Anonymous11:34 AM

    awesome, thanks much

  27. Anonymous10:00 AM


  28. Anonymous7:51 AM


    I am user of Leeenux linux-based on Lucid Lynx, and removed those 2 packages but icons staying still there, in the panel :)

    ... weird it didn't work

    ... in a case some other users of Leeenux will end up here

  29. Anonymous7:11 PM

    Thanks... :)

  30. Anonymous9:34 PM

    thanks for the instructions!

  31. Anonymous11:32 AM

    bump :)

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  33. Anonymous3:34 AM

    Very useful! Thanks a lot!

  34. Anonymous10:09 AM

    Works in Natty too!

  35. Anonymous2:38 PM

    worked great, email icon bugged me for 3 months

  36. Anonymous12:35 PM

    confirmed working in 11.04

  37. Anonymous9:42 PM

    Never mind, I figured out how.

  38. Anonymous9:44 PM

    Never mind that reply too, It seems my first message never even posted.

  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

  40. Anonymous11:19 PM

    Ah, YES! So nice to be in control of little niggles likes these.

  41. Anonymous8:32 PM

    thanks for the tip.

  42. Works fine, for me!
    Thanks a lot!!

  43. Anonymous6:31 AM

    Thanks - I used these instructions to remove the mail icon in 12.04LTS.

  44. Anonymous7:18 AM

    Me too "Thanks - I used these instructions to remove the mail icon in 12.04LTS."

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