Open a terminal and enter the following command:
sudo chown -R user:user /home/user/.*
Replace user with your username
After issuing the command, it will probably print permission denied in the terminal. Don't worry about this, just log out and log back in and Ubuntu will be back to normal.
I don't know what caused this, but the last thing I installed was Veetle before the issue occurred.
It created me a lot of other problems. I could not access Sound Preferences via the task bar or install any programs through WIne.
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