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I was copying a ISO from my PC, accidently closed the window, and now the progress windows is away. How can I bring it back?

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When you close the browsing window and the progress window closes:

There are four major possibilities (and it varies from file manager to file manager).

  • The copy operation could simply have finished on its own at around the same time you closed the the file browsing window. If you think this might be what happened, you can compare the target files of the copy to the source files you copied from.

  • You could be using a file browser that is written to cancel copy operations when the parent browsing window closes. This is not a very good design, and I'm not sure there are many file managers that (intentionally) do this anymore. Nautilus, the default file manager in Ubuntu, is not written to do this.

    If that happens, then the copy operation has cancelled (see below).

  • The file browser could have crashed. "Stable" software is not supposed to crash but sometimes it happens.

    As before, if that happens, the copying stopped. Furthermore, in this case, it's even more likely than usual that there is a partially written file at the target, usually smaller than the file at the source to which it corresponds.

  • It's worth checking to make sure the progress window is actually gone. You can Alt+Tab through all the open windows to make sure it's not hidden behind anything (as sometimes they do not have their own entries in window lists). You can make sure to check each desktop workspace for it.

When you close the progress window itself (or it's otherwise closed before finishing):

When you copy a file in a file browser such as Nautilus, closing the progress window itself terminates the file transfer. If that happened, or the progress window was closed due to any of the above reasons except the copy operation actually having completed, most file browsers (including Nautilus) don't support resuming cancelled transfers. In this situation, you have to start over. (And if it's a single file, it will not be able to benefit from any of the progress that occurred before cancellation.)

Starting over is relatively simple and easy to do when you are copying a single file, as you've described.

When you are copying multiple files and cancel the copy operation, you may be prompted multiple times about what to do when files that were already copied (or partially copied) are encountered again at the destination.

When you are not copying but moving multiple files, it is from one volume to another, and you cancel the move operation, it's usually pretty simple to just do it over again. Typically only one file will be in both places; the rest will typically copy into the directory tree without doing any harm.

With that said, whatever your situation, make sure to look closely at any dialogs that prompt to you to decide how to resolve a "collision," before choosing an option.

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Oddly enough, what you say about Nautilus is not accurate in 13.10. I was just copying many files, then copied some other files to another directory while doing it, and copied some files over that required "merge", and clicking "replace", "replace"... replace-all. Then I noticed that there was no longer any transfer window - not with Alt-tab and looking at all the Nautilus filebrowser windows, and not with Super+W windows overview. It had completely disappeared, however, the status-bar in the Unity panel to the left showed its status bar going on and eventually finishing. – NoBugs Jan 9 '14 at 7:12
@NoBugs I should update this answer then to reflect both the old and new behavior and detail it by version. What version of Ubuntu are you using? Also, is it possible for you to furnish a screenshot? I don't currently have an Ubuntu system (of any Ubuntu release) with Nautilus in a GNOME/Unity (or any other kind of GNOME) desktop. – Eliah Kagan Jan 9 '14 at 7:17

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