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A while back, I set my default file manager to Nemo. I like it a lot, but it constantly crashes. I remember editing a text file to set it as default, but I forgot which file it was. How do I switch back to the Nautilus file manager?

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Opposite of this question:… – Wilf Jun 22 '15 at 23:38
up vote 15 down vote accepted

This did it for me, after I google for a while:

xdg-mime default nautilus.desktop inode/directory application/x-gnome-saved-search

I also typed:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background show-desktop-icons true

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  1. sudo mv /usr/bin/nemo /usr/bin/nemo.backup
  2. Open any folder. You could use xdg-open /path/to/folder/ while in the command line, for example. Or you could use a X application that requests a file.
  3. A dialog should appear to you requesting a default application to be your file manager. Type /usr/bin/nautilus there and confirm.

After that, as long as you don't rename nemo to its original name/location, nautilus will be your default file manager again.

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The file manager choice is handled by a file in ~/.local/share/applications. They are mimeapps.list and mimeinfo.cache, deleting both of those files will reset your file manager to the default, which is Nautilus.

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I'm afraid that solution didn't work. – nick Jan 4 '13 at 14:12

After trying several solutions, I found an easy way to change my default file manager to Nemo (it seems to work for any file manager): How to set up Dolphin as default file manager?

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Welcome to Ask Ubuntu! Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. – Eliah Kagan Jan 17 '13 at 9:47

Official documentation for changing and restoring file manager:

Ubuntu documentation for Default File Manager

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