I have some files on my desktop that I want to hide in Nautilus. I tried adding a dot at the beginning of the filename and using a .hidden file. In both cases, the file is no longer shown in Nautilus, but it also disappears from the desktop screen.

Is there a way of hiding a file in Nautilus and keeping it visible on the desktop screen? I'm using Ubuntu 20.10.

  • What is the good reason for wanting that?
    – vanadium
    Mar 5, 2021 at 19:40
  • @vanadium I have a lot of shortcuts on my desktop that I don't want to see in Nautilus because they make it harder to find and select the other files. But of course, I want to see the shortcuts on my desktop screen.
    – Tc14
    Mar 5, 2021 at 19:46

1 Answer 1


There is no way of hiding a file in Nautilus and keeping it visible on the desktop screen.

Files on the desktop screen are shown through the "Desktop Icons" Gnome Shell extension. That extension follows the same conventions for showing or hiding files as these used by nautilus, i.e., files with a filename starting with a dot, or which are included in a file .hidden. To change that would require implementing the feature in the extension.

  • Oh, that's unfortunate. Maybe I will write a feature request to the devs of this shell extension.
    – Tc14
    Mar 6, 2021 at 13:12

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