Before upgrading to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, I was using Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS. When I was in the file browser, I was able to access a file just by writing some letters; it just got selected and it was super fast.

After upgrading, when I start typing a search is launched and it's a little bit slow. I prefer the old method.

I tried searching on the internet but didn't know exactly what to type on the search bar.

How can I disable this automatic search? Thank you

  • in ubuntu 19 (2019 december) nautilus last version completely removed typeahead feature. when you type it is searching. there is an option in Preferences window. Go to Search&Preview tab, select "Never" in "Search in subfolder" section. After this time you can find whatever you want in current folder and it doesn't search in subfolders. This feature seems like "typeahead". Nov 30, 2019 at 21:13

1 Answer 1


Type Ahead search was removed completely from Nautilus, aka GNOME Files, since Artful. Luckily, there is a patch on GitHub that adds this functionality back to Nautilus 3.26.3, the version installed by default in Ubuntu 18.04. Now if you want to apply the patch and build Nautilus from source, go ahead, but there is a guy that did the job for us and provided a PPA to install the patched Nautilus directly:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:lubomir-brindza/nautilus-typeahead

Then upgrade using sudo apt full-upgrade and kill Files nautilus -q

Please note that this will overwrite the standard version of Nautilus 3.26 in Ubuntu 18.04 with a third-party build. If you're from the paranoid type you're better off using Nemo or Caja instead.

Source: [1]

  • 20
    "Type Ahead search was removed completely from Nautilus"... sigh.. WTF. Whoever comes up with such ideas. The search which replaces it is very sucky. It slow... hangs Nautilus and doesn't even find the folders / files that are sitting right there in the folder. Anyhoo... sorry for venting a bit. And thanks for the help on getting this back :-)
    – kris
    Jul 4, 2018 at 22:15
  • The 'nautilus -r' command didn't seem to work (I assume it supposed to restart nautilus without doing a full reboot). The rest of the instructions did work however. Type-ahead is working nicely after system restart.
    – kris
    Jul 4, 2018 at 22:26
  • 1
    Really Thanks new file search is worst Because of this I was suppose to downgrade my ubuntu But this helped me thanks alot. Aug 9, 2018 at 6:15
  • 3
    after recent update in my ubuntu 18 this solution is not working after update again default search of Ubuntu appeared. Jan 9, 2019 at 9:27
  • 3
    @Magento2Learner - I've rebuilt the patched version, and it should be available in the PPA repository soon. Should be a metter of apt update/upgrade. Jan 10, 2019 at 18:41

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