How to Hide the Bluetooth Icon on Ubuntu’s Top Panel

Almost all Laptop computers come with an inbuilt Bluetooth adaptor these days, but most people don’t use it. Sure Bluetooth has its uses, but because it is too slow, it is not the ideal solution in situations like while copying large files, for example.

Anyway, by using the small Bluetooth icon on the ‘Top Panel’ of the Unity desktop, users can control few Bluetooth related functions, including turning it ON or OFF easily, and if you don’t use it, then you should turn in OFF as it saves some power as well (if you are using a Laptop).

You can also go another step forward by hiding this icon from the ‘Top Panel’ as it helps to make it look less cluttered too. If interested, you can achieve that using the command-line, without having to install a graphical program …


However, sometimes in my notebook PC, even after turning it OFF, Ubuntu turns it ON upon the next desktop login (bug?) If your computer is also having this issue, then once this icon is hidden, there is no easy way of finding whether Bluetooth is active or not, and therefore, Bluetooth will be sucking some power out of your Laptop’s battery, shortening the battery life.

So first make sure you have done this trick that makes sure to turn it OFF at the boot time.

After that, open your Terminal and enter the below command (I’m using Ubuntu 12.10 but should work in 12.04 and 11.10 too) and as soon as you do that, the Bluetooth icon on the ‘Top Panel’ should go away.

gsettings set com.canonical.indicator.bluetooth visible false


If you want to get it back, then enter the below one (as you can see, it’s the same command, we have only replaced ‘false’ with ‘true’).

gsettings set com.canonical.indicator.bluetooth visible true


Optional …

If later you wanted to turn Bluetooth ON, then you can do so by without having to use this icon (making it visible) as well.

For that, open your Terminal and use the below command.

rfkill unblock bluetooth

To turn it OFF, enter the below one.

rfkill block bluetooth


That’s it.

An RHCE, 'Linux' user with 14+ years of experience. Extreme lover of Linux and FOSS. He is passionate to test every Linux distribution & compare with the previous release to write in-depth articles to help the FOSS community.

6 thoughts on “How to Hide the Bluetooth Icon on Ubuntu’s Top Panel”

  1. Whenever I do this it works great, so thanks! However, if I suspend or shut down then come back, it disappears again. Any permanent solution?

    I was previously running 12.04 LTS, ran into this same problem, and found a solution. But, I recently upgraded to 12.10 and can’t find the solution I used before.


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