Remove application shortcuts on the Nokia N9 homescreen

Whilst you are using your Nokia N9, you may come across many applications that you may never use. For example the Facebook, Twitter, and notes app. Whilst uninstalling these is not possible, as it is tied to the OS (I tried and it borked the phone), it is possible to simply remove the shortcut on your homescreen.

  1. Open the terminal application
  2. Get root access by typing       devel-su  . Password is    rootme
  3. Type in:

    cd /home/user/MyDocs

    We are now going to make a "holding folder" in case you ever need to restore these shortcut

  4. mkdir AppBK                  (or whatever you want to call it, from here on I will refer to it as AppBK)
  5. cd /usr/share/applications
  6. List everything in this folder by typing:


  7. This will list all the applications. Anything ending in .desktop is something you can move. Choose what you want to move, and copy the shortcut to your holding folder:

    cp <file>.desktop /home/user/MyDocs

  8. Now remove the file in this location:

    rm <file>.desktop

And enjoy one less useless app on the launcher. I have removed the Twitter app, skype, search, youtube aps, with more to come. Remember, this doesn't physically uninstall the app. It just removes the shortcut.

To restore a shortcut, go to terminal as root again.

cd /home/user/MyDocs/AppBK

cp <filename> /usr/share/applications


Any comments or questions on this article can be posted below.

Please note: Prior to undertaking any modification detailed above, understand that there are risks involved. Whilst every modification has been tested to work on the author's Nokia N9, there are no guarantees it will work on a different Nokia N9 or other mobile phone. EverythingN9 will not take responsibility for any effects of a mod, including hardware or software damage, telecommunication charges, or legal implications.

About the author


Thanks for reading my post. I'm Shaun, a self-confessed phone enthusiast (addict) who has owned various phones, including a SE k800i, Nokia e71, Nokia N900, HTC HD2, Nokia Lumia 800, and the Nokia N9. I work for a Medical Software company, and lived in Johannesburg, South Africa for many years. I currently live in Brisbane, Australia. Follow Arie and I on Twitter: @EverythingN9 or on Facebook: www.facebook.com/EverythingN9


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  1. uros

    thanks, this is great! :) I also tried to uninstall some apps but could't do it.

  2. Juha

    i want delete sim-card icon, track and protect.. do you know those names?

    1. Shaun

      Good question. I'll work out where these files may be, if it can be deleted, and get back to you

      1. Juha

        i deleted this…
        twitter-qml.desktop — > twitter
        feedreader.desktop -> feed reader
        search.desktop —> search
        tnpui.desktop — > track and protect
        morpheus.desktop –> music shop

        if someone know how to delete that sim-card icon, please tell me!

        1. Shaun

          Good work. Still looking into the sim-card icon. I do suspect its a bit more than just removing a .desktop file though, as when you load a simcard into a symbian phone for example, on the main screen there is a simcard app. Remove the simcard on your N9, and the icon disappears.

          The content of the icon depends on your simcard provider. For example, on my Australian Telstra simcard, it gives Australian Football news.

          1. Juha

            Does anyone know, how can i make some script that it will delete some shortcuts if i want? thanks.

            that i can run that script in my n9 and it will be delete shortcuts that i have wrote there..

  3. Abbas Halai

    perfect! thanks for the solution.

  4. jl

    I am trying to remove application shortcuts from my N9, but after typing 'cd/home/user/MyDocs' I get the message '…MyDocs not found'; why?

    1. Shaun

      have you got a space between cd and /home ?
      cd /home

      1. jl

        Thank you; it works. But I do not find e.g. the Facebook, Twitter shortcuts after typing ls … thank you in advance, jl.

  5. Aaron

    Warning: Do NOT delete any files in /usr/share/applications. This can have unexpected consequences when other applications or the system makes assumptions about what is in that folder. A MUCH better way to make your icons 'disappear' is to add the line NotShowIn=X-Meego; (yes with the sem-colon at the end) to ANY .desktop file in /usr/share/applications that you want to make 'go away' from the homescreen. This is the correct and supported Nokia way of doing it and will have no adverse effects.

    (For example if you use the Meefolders app you can make icons go away from the main screen this way but they will still be available from within Meefolders so you can add them to your custom folders; if you just DELETE .desktop files – BAD idea! – then you won't be able to do this.)

    Note that you will need ROOT privileges to add this line to .desktop files in /usr/share/applications. You can either install and use the nano text editor to do this, or simply use the echo command, for example by typing in (once you are root and in /usr/share/applications) echo NotShowIn=X-Meego; >> app_name.desktop.

    Also, you will find icons in /home/user/.local/share/applications as well – these are user icons and you will need to be user, not root, to make the changes.

  6. Aaron

    Another handy tip – if you are not sure what the .desktop file is you're looking for (sometimes it is not obvious, e.g. with the browser bookmarks in /home/user/.local/share/applications) but you know some text string that should be in the file and would identify it (e.g. the shortcut name that appears on your home screen) then you can use grep "text" *.desktop when in the respective directory to find it.

    For example if you have called one of your browser shortcuts "New York Times" then when in /home/user/.local/share/applications (as user, not root) you can type the following:

    grep "New York Times" *.desktop

    and the output will contain the file name you are looking for. Remember to use the key to save yourself a lot of typing when you want to use that filename, for example, with the echo command.

  7. Aaron

    Here is a .desktop file that will delete the SIM card icon that appears on my desktop:

    [Desktop Entry]
    Comment=Remove SIM icon
    Exec=sh /home/user/.scripts/remove-sim-icon.sh
    #Exec=sh /usr/include/calenderr.sh

    I have that saved as file 'kill-sim-icon.desktop' but note it will NOT appear on your home app screen because of the last line. Instead I am using Meefolders and have this in a subfolder. When I start my phone I get rid of the SIM card icon by selecting that sub-folder and touching 'kill'.

    1. Joni

      That icon would run script "/home/user/.scripts/remove-sim-icon.sh". But where do I get that script? Also removing Ovi Music store -icon would be neat. Never used it.

    2. Win7Mac

      Aaron, this is very interesting but also very hard to follow for a non-developer.
      I don't have any sim-icon.desktop.
      Why the different lines
      Exec=sh /home/user/.scripts/remove-sim-icon.sh
      #Exec=sh /usr/include/calenderr.sh

      Could you please be a bit more specific on the steps to go for your solution and how to create that .desktop?
      Would be really awesome!

    3. Win7Mac

      Aaron, could you please give a more detailed guide on the steps to follow for your solution? That seems the perfekt way!
      Would be highly appreciated.

  8. Teodoru

    PLEASE! CAN YOU MAKE A VIDEO? AT MINE DIDNT WORKS! THE FIRST THREE STEPS ARE DONE, BUT THEN? I CANT DO ANYMORE THEN… I know… cd /home not cd/home… but I didnt works I dont know what should I do then… please post a video! THANK YOU!

    1. Arie

      I will tell Shaun to reply to your post.

  9. Teodoru

    That was very fast! I deleted the Twitter Icon, but I think it will be a better way if will be able a video at this post… Thank you! Now I try to delete another apps from desktop.

  10. Teodoru

    UPDATE: Works now! But must TAPE before step 3! I tried almost all day to remove my apps from menu. Thank you!

    1. Teodoru

      Must touch the TAB button and not using Is.

  11. Mihkel

    I removed a few icons too many and did not make backups for all of them.
    Is there a way I can get an application back on the home screen. ie messages ?

    thank you

    1. Arie

      You need messages and what other icons?

  12. Fabian


    I deleted a few icons and deleted the Backup, too… Is there a way to get them back?
    I deleted notes.desktop , feedreader.desktop , twitter.desktop , youtube.desktop

    1. Arie

      I don't think so. Someone will have to copy them and reupload them for you.

      The backup, is gone.

  13. tusar

    Hi, by mistake i closed some app icon from my app launcher, how can i bring them back to my app launcher screen?


    1. Arie

      Which apps?

      1. tusar

        when we long press on launcher view, x button displays to delete installed app, by mistake i deleted few, i wanted to bring it back.

  14. Kevin Whitefoot

    Much easier to just create a folder on the home screen and move the unwanted icons to it. No need for terminals, root access, or risk of deleting or editing the wrong thing.

    1. Arie

      Yes, that's true. Or you can remove them altogether.

  15. Ginnie

    The separate folder is easy and very flexible, as you can move icons in and out of it, without having to do any anything else. I've moved a whole heap of stuff into my "Seldom Used" folder. I also have a folder for Linker – thanks for the tip about that – very cool. My homescreen is much less cluttered now, with a lot less scrolling.

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