I have a habit of using the keyboard to navigate through my files and folders. I start typing the name of the file/folder I want to select in the file browser, and then hit ENTER to open it.

With Ubuntu 17.10, the file browser goes a little crazy when I start typing. It triggers some kind of searching feature, and lists all the files or folders that it finds (recursively) matching the text that I've typed. This annoys me quite a lot, I just wanted the folder in the current directory with a matching name to be selected.


I want to enter the folder "Anaconda3" from here.

file browser

So I start typing "anaco" and as I type, search results are changing quite frantically as the search criteria changes.

search results

This is not what I want the file browser to do. I just want to select the "Anaconda3" folder, like so:

folder selected

Is there any way to make the file browser act the way I want? Or should I just create a feature request at Ubuntu for it?



I'm sorry, you can't – with default Nautilus file manager.

Ubuntu 17.10 ships with Nautilus 3.24 file manager that no longer has the 'type-ahead search' feature available (not even as an option in the preferences). This has been discussed a lot but it looks like developers will stick to their decision to keep this feature replaced by the search.


  • Open Nautilus Preferences > Search & Preview > set 'Serch in subfolders' to 'never' and uncheck 'Full Text Search: set as default'. This way you will only get files and folders within the current folder if you start typing.
  • Press ctrl + l in file manager to open location input and type a folder name to open there that will be auto-completed.
  • Install a different file manager. For example Nemo is a fork of nautlius that preserves some features like the type ahead find.
| improve this answer | |
  • Thanks! I Installed Nemo, and it works like a charm. Hopefully the Nautilus developers will realize that 'type-ahead search' is (arguably) a must-have! – gromit190 Feb 9 '18 at 11:14

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