I am not shown the "Open with ..." tab in Files or the "Set as default ..." button anymore. This seems to be gone due to a UI change and there is an issue registered at Launchpad.

I know that tools like Ubuntu Tweak have offered such functionality in the past (it is mentioned as a solution in similar questions) but afaik Ubuntu Tweak is no more supported (i.e. not in the repo). One can use mimeopen to adjust this from the command line. And, there is a relatively complicated but generic workaround.

However, I am looking for a GUI-based way and without installing extra packages not in the default Ubuntu repos. Thanks for help!


3 Answers 3


As for Ubuntu 19.10, the "Set as default" button is accessible by selecting "Properties" on a file contextual menu and going to the tab "Open with".


Thanks to Alvin Liang, I propose to solve this problem by

  1. installing Nemo (a fork of a former Nautilus version) via apt-get install nemo,
  2. clicking on a file of interest, choose "Open with ..." and "Other application ...",
  3. choose one of the applications in the list and click "Set as default".

Then, you can use Nautilus again with the updated file associations. It is not the most convenient solution, however, it avoids fiddling around with config files in the back.

  • 1
    This changes the default application for all application of a certain type (or something like that). If for instance I want to change only the application that opens .txt (and not other extensions such as .wl) is there any way to do this? See askubuntu.com/questions/1180012/….
    – Kvothe
    Nov 20, 2019 at 9:10

Go to the system configuration menu (in the top right corner menu, choose the button with the "tools" symbol on it) and choose the last item in the left menu bar (presumably "system information" in English). In the next dialogue you choose "default applications" and can choose which applications to use to handle URLs, email, calendar, music, videos and photographs. While this is not a complete answer, it may cover the most important use cases.

  • Thx, but I was looking for a generic solution, formerly accessible via a "Set as default ..." button.
    – Mario
    Oct 25, 2018 at 16:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.