Fix Ubuntu Software Center not loading issue in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

“No Application Data Found” issue in Ubuntu Software

Did you just install Ubuntu 16.04 on your computer only to figure out that the Ubuntu Software Center is not loading? Multiple users have reported that the Software Center always shows “No Application Data Found”. This is a known problem, and I too faced the exact same issue on one of my test PCs.

Ubuntu Software Center Error
Ubuntu Software Center Error

Fortunately, fix to this problem is easy and straightforward. An update was released by the Ubuntu team which had fixed the issue.

Canonical knows about the issue and since then they have issued an updated Ubuntu Software Center.

However, if you have a fresh Ubuntu 16.04 installation, the updated Software Center is not yet installed on your computer because the update is not included in the downloaded Ubuntu ISO builds.

Fix Ubuntu 16.04 Software Center not loading apps issue

Step 1) Launch ‘Terminal’.

Step 2) Run the following command to update the repository sources.

sudo apt-get update

Step 3) Now install the updates.

sudo apt-get upgrade

Wait for the process to finish. Try reopening Ubuntu Software Center. Did it fix the issue? For most of the users, the problem should end here. For some reason, if the issue is not solved yet, try to reinstall gnome software. Follow steps 4 & 5.

Step 4) Run the following command to remove gnome software.

sudo apt-get autoremove gnome-software

Step 5) Use this command to reinstall gnome software.

sudo apt-get install gnome-software

Synaptic Package Manager

Still no luck? In such case, you can use Synaptic Package Manager as an alternative to the Ubuntu Software Center. You will get all the applications that are in Ubuntu Software Center in Synaptic too.

Step 6) Launch Terminal and run the following command to install synaptic.

sudo apt-get install synaptic

Step 7) Launch it from ‘Applications’.

Did any of the above fixes work for you? Do let us know your experience in comments below.

Kiran Kumar
Hi there! I'm Kiran Kumar, founder of I'm an avid Linux lover and enjoy hands-on with new promising distros. Currently, I'm using Ubuntu as a daily driver and run several other distros such as Fedora, Solus, Manjaro, Debian, and some new ones on my test PC and virtual machines. I have a day job as an Engineer, and this website is one of my favorite past time activities, especially during Winter ;). When I'm not writing for FOSSLinux, I'm seen biking and hiking on scenic trails. I hope you enjoy using this website as much as I do writing for it. Feedback from readers is something that inspires me to do more and spread Linux love!. If you find a time, drop me an email or feedback from the 'Contact' page. Or simply leave a comment below if you found this article useful. Have a good day!


  1. Thank you for making this tutorial and writing instructions so clearly (I’m a beginner). For me it works again after step 3!

  2. no still not working the error is E: Package ‘gnome-software’ has no installation candidate

    and then after install syntax error is
    E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.

    what the hell am i supposed to do

  3. wow, scratching my head. No software candidates.
    i have lost software operation since STUDIO 17.10. Man the install time is L O N G and slow and first start/run is S L O W. This is BOTH 17.10 and 18.04. The speed seems to pick up after the upgrade window appears and you select it but the software window is sparse on apps. My latest install has only 2 games and it won’t let me download, web or term and additional programs/apps. The forum fixes only return “NO CANDIDATE AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD”… 16.04 at least ran and had some apps in the software center but there seems to be a big problem with the 17.xx.xx and 18.xx.xx distros. something is missing or does not install and the upgrade does not address this problem. Up to this point, it is NOT fixable by terminal commands and I have probably tried hundreds after searching for help.. I really like STUDIO and think it is a really stable program HOWEVER, its software is lacking to the point that I may have to move to a different distro. Just thought I’d throw that out there.

  4. followed all steps, no luck. Synaptic isn’t found by Applications. Software updater also isn’t working. I’m getting a persistent error relating to a Download Helper coapp.

  5. Found article a little confusing. The picture on top is not of software-center, but of Ubuntu Software (aka gnome-software). I read in another site that “software-center was abandoned in 16.04 in favor of gnome-software You should use that. If you really want to install the old one type sudo apt install software-center in a terminal…”

    I tried the steps in your article but it didn’t fix things for me. My Ubuntu Software seems to be missing a categories section & there are no user reviews.

    Since I couldn’t fix (or didn’t like) the new Ubuntu Software, I installed the old software-center. I use them both now. I use the old software-center to get information on the app & search for apps. But, I use the new Ubuntu Software to actually install the app (I guess I trust it more cause it’s recommended).

    They look a little similar, so to help tell them apart I look at the name and version information from the about menu for each application:
    Ubuntu Software (v 3.20.5)
    software-center (v 15.12)

    My system is a fresh install of Ubuntu 16.04.5 with all updates done.

  6. Thank you very much Kiran
    I followed the instructions and the installation process was flawless.
    Adobe Reader is working perfectly, so I finally have the option of opening multiple documents on different tabs as opposed to different windows (as happens with other software).
    By the way, I am using a very old laptop: 32 bits, less than 1Gb RAM, Linux Mint 19, and it does not crash.

  7. Thanks from me, too – three steps to heaven!
    As a novice I would have appreciated a warning about the length of the process on my admittedly puny machine


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