Is there any way that Ubuntu file managers (specifically, Nautilus and Thunar) be configured so that they will ask for confirmation about file / directory move operations (from one directory to another directory)? These erroneous actions can easily be done accidentally with the mouse.


As pointed out by @danzel in the comments, dolphin does open a tooltip when you drag and drop fodlers/files, asking if you want to move, copy, link or cancel the operation. To move or copy the files without the tooltip you need to modify the operation with ctrl or shift.

I think neither nautilus nor thunar have this option. I'm also not aware of any File manager that have this feature. What you can do, is work around the likely causes for the problem. If the problem is a user that might not be as snappy with the figner anymore, causing what should open a file/folder be mistaken for a move, you have a few options.

  1. On the mouse and touchpad settings you have a drag and drop threshold. If you increase that value, unless the person with the mouse move by that amount, it won't count as a drag and drop, so you have a lot more leeway if the user can't hold the hand steady enough. You might also try reducing the mouse sensitivity. Maybe increasing the double click time can be useful, as this is also a problem that some folk with the same issue have (not double clicking fast enough for it to register as a double click).
  2. On Thunar preferences, you can try changing from the default to a single click to activate. Usually, the problem you described happens between the first and second click, so since the user will have to click just once, this might also solve the problem (Play with the delay value). This would require a bit of retraining from the user, which might not be desired.

Now if the problem is not related to that, and instead the user is simply moving files a bit hastily and haphazardly, causing them to go to wrong locations, you might try to talk to them to have a bit more caution. Maybe encourage right clicking copy/cut and paste into the folder instead of drag and drop, as this is a longer process, it might give enough time for the user to think and stop before committing a mistake. An extreme solution might be revoking the user permissions, and only allow them to read files.

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    Dolphin asks what to do by default. – danzel May 26 at 20:30
  • @danzel I edited the comment to add it. If you wish to make an answer I'll delete mine, since yours addresses OP's concern better. – Podesta May 26 at 21:10
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    since the OP specifically asked for Nautilus and Thunar, I think that's a valid answer. Your workarounds are probably a lot more helpful for future readers than an answer that only states "dolphin can do that". – danzel May 26 at 22:01

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