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I am using elementary OS Freya. How to reset elementary OS settings to default without reinstalling, and without using Timeshift?

There is no option like Restore Default Settings under about:

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The following commands effectively take the same action a reset button would.

You could try to use gsettings.

First, create a file with all the keys in it:

gsettings list-recursively | grep '^\S*' > keys.txt

then loop through that file and reset each key

while read line; do echo $line; gsettings reset-recursively $line; done <keys.txt

This resets all the settings (hopefully).

  • Hey @Tim nice, I will try and then accept it :) Is there any way through GUI? – Ravan Nov 21 '15 at 15:37
  • @Ravan no, no gui method – user3 Nov 21 '15 at 17:49
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    @WOEITG No, this command does reset them. – user3 Jan 25 '16 at 22:09
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    @WOEITG No. Those commands reset all settings. – user3 Jan 25 '16 at 22:27
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    @WOEITG I actually made a meta post about that: meta.elementaryos.stackexchange.com/questions/163/… – user3 Jan 26 '16 at 11:41
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Lewis G's approach worked for me on Loki, but needed a bit of tinkering. It also wound up being quite a bit slower than necessary, as gsettings list-recursively repeated a bunch of keys. Here's a one-liner that should do it all. It skips the temp file and runs much faster by removing repeated lines.

for line in `gsettings list-recursively | grep '^\S*' |awk '{ print  $1 }' | uniq`; do gsettings reset-recursively $line; done
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In System Settings > About there is a button "Restore Default Settings".

This will reset all system gsettings keys. It will not reset settings for apps or delete any of your personal data.

Edit: Ah my mistake. This feature hasn't landed as a stable update yet.

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