6 Ways To Fix The “Ubuntu Software Center Not Loading” Issue

Is your Ubuntu Software Center not loading? It’s a common issue many Ubuntu users—new or old— face. So you’re not alone in this.

And the problem is much of the advice you get from the internet doesn’t even work. Waste of time and effort!

Ubuntu Software Center Issue

That’s why we curated the best tried and tested solutions to solve this issue so that your Ubuntu Software Center gets up and running fast.

These solutions solved this issue for many, many Ubuntu users. And we hope these will solve yours too.

So without further ado, let’s get right into it.

Why is Ubuntu Software Center not opening?

In most cases, the Ubuntu software center may not open after upgrading your distro. Many users reported this issue for them when they upgraded to Ubuntu 16.04 and Ubuntu 20.04.

Another common reason is when you clear your cache, your Ubuntu software center may stop working.

Understanding Gnome Software VS. Ubuntu Software Center(Snap Store)

In the latest versions of Ubuntu, you’ll actually stumble upon two distinct software centers on your device. The Gnome Software Center and the Snap Store.

To understand this properly, open your terminal and write the following commands.

gnome-software
Gnome Software

This will open the GNOME Software center.

GNOME Software Center

Now try this command.

snap-store

This opens the Snap Store.

Snap Store 1

Notice the difference?

Both are different utilities. If you check your taskbar, you’ll see both software centers have separate icons.

This is necessary knowledge so that you can find out which software center is causing the error.

In the recent Ubuntu versions, the software-center was renamed snap-store. So when many users try to do something about the software-center, they get errors.

If this is you, replace the ‘software-center’ part of your command and write snap-store instead. Also, replace apt with snap.

How to fix “Ubuntu Software Center Not Loading”?

Now that you know the difference between the two software centers and why the Ubuntu software center may not open or work, let’s see all the solutions you can apply to fix it.

Fix-1: Close and Re-launch Ubuntu Software Center

First, if you have the apps opened, close them.

Now you need to terminate the software center processes. To do so, type in the following command.

killall snap-store

For the GNOME software center, use this command.

killall gnome-software
Killall Gnome Software

Now relaunch the software centers. You can do that from the GUI or the terminal.

Launching from the terminal can use the commands we’ve shown above.

gnome-software
snap-store

You can also open them from All Applications by searching.

Search For Application In Ubuntu
Ubuntu Software(Snap Store) and GNOME Software

See if the problem has been resolved.

Fix-2: Refresh Ubuntu Software Center

One of the easiest ways to fix the Ubuntu Software Center not loading problem is to refresh the software centers.

Open your terminal and type the command below:

snap-store refresh
Snap Store Refresh

For GNOME, use this command below

gnome-software refresh
Gnome Software Refresh

These commands will automatically launch the respective software centers.

You may see a popup saying, “Failed to install: not supported.” Just ignore it, as your problem should be fixed now.

Fix-3: Update the System

Sometimes, updating(and upgrading) the system is what you need to fix the Ubuntu Software Center.

Open the terminal. Now type the following commands.

sudo apt update && sudo apt -y upgrade
Apt Upgrade

The apt update command updates the package sources list with the latest versions.

The apt upgrade command upgrades the package versions to the latest ones after crosschecking package versions installed on your computer.

The -y part means you’re saying “Yes” to all the prompts that may appear after running the command.

If the error was caused due to some caching problem, it should now be fixed.

Related: How to install AnyDesk on Ubuntu

Fix-4: Install and Use the Alternative Software Center

Remember that there are actually two software centers on Ubuntu? The Snap Store and GNOME Software.

If you’re having trouble opening or loading one of them, you can always use the alternative store for installing software on Ubuntu

Usually, the GNOME software center doesn’t come by default with your Ubuntu system. So try installing it first.

Before installing the app, you need to update the system. So open your terminal and type the update commands as follows:

sudo apt update && sudo apt -y upgrade

To install GNOME software, run the following command:

sudo apt install gnome-software
Fix Ubuntu Software Center Not Loading

Launch GNOME software center

gnome-software

Now you can download and install your apps from the GNOME store instead of Snap Store.

The Snap Store is usually installed by default on your device. In case it isn’t, install it with these commands.

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
sudo snap install snap-store

Fix-5: Clear the Cache

If caching is causing this error, you have a better chance to make the software center work again by cleaning it.

First, use this command the clean the cache.

sudo apt clean

This command basically clears out the stored archives in your cache. Now update your system to get the repository list with this command

sudo apt update

Fix-6: Remove and Reinstall Ubuntu Software Center

The final solution is to totally uninstall the Ubuntu Software Center from your system and then reinstall it.

You can do this with this single command

sudo apt install --reinstall gnome-software
Reinstall Gnome Software In Ubuntu

To reinstall the Snap Store, use this command:

sudo snap install --reinstall snap-store

Alternatively, you can remove and manually install the software centers.

To remove the GNOME software center, type in this command into your terminal.

sudo apt purge gnome-software
Reinstall Gnome Software In Ubuntu 1

For removing the Snap Store, use this command

sudo snap purge snap-store

Now you need to install the software centers.

 To install the GNOME one, use this command

sudo apt install -y gnome-software
Install The GNOME

For the Snap Store, type the following command

sudo snap install snap-store

Read Also: How to take Screenshot on Linux – Ubuntu

What If None Of The Fixes Worked For Me?

If your Ubuntu Software Center is still not working, don’t panic. You can still download software and apps via the terminal. I mean, that’s what’s cool about Linux.

If the terminal gives you nightmares, you can still download apps from the official websites and install them from the GUI.

Meanwhile, if this bug is from the developers, they will find a fix for it in a future update.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I fix “Ubuntu Software Center not opening”?

Try any of the fixes below,

  1. Close and Relaunch the software center
  2. Refresh the Software center
  3. Update the system
  4. Use the alternative software center
  5. Clean cache
  6. Remove and Reinstall the software center

Check our detailed guide above to learn how to perform any of these fixes.

How to install Ubuntu Software Center?

Use any of these commands,

GNOME software center: sudo apt install gnome-software

Snap Store: sudo snap install snap-store

How to fix images and software not loading inside Ubuntu Software Center?

Try using these commands in your terminal and launch the software center:

killall gnome-software
mkdir -p ~/.local/share/gnome-software/
cd ~/.local/share/gnome-software/

How to fix the “Software catalog is being loaded” bug?

Run the following commands in your terminal

killall gnome-software
rm -rf ~/.cache/gnome-software

How to fix the “Package ‘software-center’ has no installation candidate” bug?

This is happening because, in the new versions of Ubuntu, the name ‘software-center’ has been changed to snap-store. Install it with this command:

sudo snap install snap-store

How do I open the Ubuntu Software Center?

You can open the Ubuntu Software Center with this command

snap-store

You can open the GNOME software center with this command

gnome-software

Conclusion

This article shows how you can fix the problem where the Ubuntu Software Center doesn’t load or work properly. All methods were tested and validated in our lab. In other words, these will surely fix your problem.

So, which fix among the 6 worked for you? Do you have a different way to fix this issue?

Dinesh is the founder of Sysprobs and written more than 400 articles. Enthusiast in Microsoft and cloud technologies with more than 15 years of IT experience.

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