As most of you know, you can switch between the visual location entry, and the text based one in Nautilus, by hitting Ctrl+L.

When I tried to set this value permanently in gconf-editor, it doesn't exist. When I tried to do it via the terminal, this is the message that I receive:

No value to set for key: /apps/nautilus/preferences/always_use_location_entry

I can still switch between the two via the Ctrl+L, but I'm stumped about the fix.

2 Answers 2


If you want to toggle between location bar or path bar without installing anything on your system open a terminal and type to enable the location bar

gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.preferences always-use-location-entry  true

enter image description here

and to disable it

gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.preferences always-use-location-entry  false

enter image description here

This setting is user based. You may need to restart Nautilus with nautilus -q.

The method is applicable for all current releases:

  • Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (trusty),
  • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (xenial),
  • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (bionic),
  • Ubuntu 18.10 (cosmic).
  • 4
    Still works with 18.10
    – Boba Fit
    Oct 21, 2018 at 11:09

Answer edited out of the question

To permanently switch from path bar to location bar, you can use dconf-tools Install dconf-tools.

To install dconf-tools, run the following command in a terminal:

sudo apt-get install dconf-tools

After installing it, search for dconf-tools in the dash and open it.

From there, the setting is located at org -> gnome -> nautilus -> preferences. You need to enable always-use-location-entry to always use the location toolbar instead of the path bar.

enter image description here

  • Thank you. Truthfully, this is what helped me do what I wanted. The other answer that is user based is awesome, and on bigger systems, with multiple users, that is probably better. Thanks again!
    – willbeeler
    Feb 3, 2012 at 17:49

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