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I used to be able to use Nautilus fine on Xubuntu 18.04 but since I recently did a reinstall Nautilus now refuses to open files when I double click them, there's just a small flicker and then nothing happens.

This only happens if I set Nautilus to the default file manager if I leave Thunar as the default and just open Nautilus directly everything works fine.

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See:

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/nautilus/+bug/1778069

In the post #11 we will see this:

I had to remove the following entries from
~/.local/share/applications/mimeapps.list,
in the "[Added Associations]" section:

x-scheme-handler/http=exo-web-browser.desktop
x-scheme-handler/https=exo-web-browser.desktop
x-scheme-handler/file=exo-file-manager.desktop
x-scheme-handler/trash=exo-file-manager.desktop
x-scheme-handler/mailto=exo-mail-reader.desktop;

It solved the problem for me.

Update:

As per #8 at the link these paths need to be checked as well: /usr/share/xubuntu/applications/defaults.list and ~/.config/mimeapps.list

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