Customizing top bar app icons in gnome

I’m currently running gnome 40 on fedora workstation, and was wondering where the top bar application icons (example below) were picked up from, and how one would go about customizing them.


My impression so far is that they are auto-generated for most user-installed applications, by simply taking a black and white version of their logo. However, for system applications, a custom image seems to be used, and I cannot seem to find the config files controlling this behaviour.

Hi Seon,
You are looking for the .desktop files, which are located in

  1. Most apps: /usr/share/applications/ or /usr/local/share/applications
  2. Some apps: ~/.local/share/applications/
  3. Installed by Snap apps: /var/lib/snapd/desktop/applications/
  4. Installed by Flatpak apps: /var/lib/flatpak/exports/share/applications/

Hi Sulthan, thanks for the tip! My problem with the the .desktop files is that the standard icon specified there isn’t what appears in the top bar.

I have been able to figure it out though, thanks to this resource: the icons in the top bar are called symbolic icons, and can be customized by appending -symbolic to the icon name as defined in the .desktop file.

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