You decided to try Ubuntu 20.04 and the Gnome desktop environment that comes with it. You feel, though, that Gnome’s top bar and side panel are always in the way and would prefer your apps to take up the whole screen. Learn how you can hide the top bar and side panel in Ubuntu 20.04.
Hide the Side Panel (Dock)
Press the Win key on your keyboard and type “dock” to filter the app list down to the sub-page you need in “Appearance Settings.” Select the Settings entry that appears to open that page.
Enable the toggle next to “Auto-hide the Dock.”
Hide the Top Bar in Ubuntu
Open your browser and visit Gnome’s Extensions page. Click on “Click here to install browser extension” to install an add-on to Firefox that will in turn enable one-click installation of extensions to your Gnome desktop.
When Firefox asks you if you want to allow the site to install an add-on, click “Continue to Installation.”
Do the same for the pop-ups that follow, first asking if you want to “Add GNOME Shell Integration?” Click on “Add,” and it then informs you, “GNOME Shell Integration has been added to Firefox.” Click “Okay, Got It.”
There’s a search field under the link you used to install the GNOME Shell Integration extension in the previous step. Click in it and type “hide top bar” to find the Gnome extension you need.
Select the extension to visit its page. Apart from an extended description and the option to download it, you’ll also see a switch on the top right. Click on this switch to toggle it to “On” and install the extension.
Click on “Install” in the pop-up that will appear over the page.
That was it! You should now see that the top bar has disappeared (if your Firefox is in maximized mode).
Auto-hiding in action
Both elements of the desktop auto-hide based on the proximity of other windows. In our following screenshot, Firefox runs in windows mode and doesn’t need the space occupied by the Dock and Top Bar, so they remain visible.
As Firefox’s window is moved to the left, the dock will auto-hide when they overlap.
If you move the window towards the top, the same will happen with the top bar.
And if you move it to the top left, as the window approaches both, they’ll disappear. The same happens if you maximize a window, as you saw earlier.
With those tweaks, you can now use your whole screen for your apps without having to disable the Dock and top bar fully. You can also change your desktop icons in Gnome 3 to match your wallpaper.
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