The issue is in Ubuntu 20.04.2. I can use nautilus app to search for files without issues. But when I search for same files to upload from a web browser (chrome/firefox), let's say to upload to GMail, it won't search in the sub directories/folders. See screenshots. What am I missing?

Note: I have already gone through few posts like the below urls. But haven't got any proper answers.

File search not working completely in folders or at all when uploading

When uploading files in Chrome, how do I choose the file browser?


Searching from nautilus app: Searching from nautilus app

Searching while trying to upload to gmail searching while trying to upload to gmail

  • Hi, regarding your question on SO, I think you need (?<=(pattern_1 ))?word(?(1)|(?=( pattern_2))) (regex demo). Apr 29, 2021 at 20:55
  • @WiktorStribiżew That works. But if you could add the answer in the actual post, then I'll accept it. Thanks a lot. People these days are rude for no reasons and are in abundance. People like you are rare. Thanks again.
    – Rabindra
    Apr 30, 2021 at 6:52
  • 1
    Ok. Then, I'll add it as an answer and give credit to you.
    – Rabindra
    Apr 30, 2021 at 9:07
  • On firefox, go to about:config and then search for widget.use-xdg-desktop-portal.file-picker and change the value from 2 to 1. This will use the default file manager instead of the GTK dialog.
    – mchid
    Apr 26, 2022 at 7:32
  • Or, if you're not using a snap version of firefox, go to about:config and search for "xdg-desktop" and then set all matched results to 0 (zero).
    – mchid
    Oct 23, 2022 at 0:33

1 Answer 1


First, the dialog you see in Chrome is not the file manager Files (nautilus). It is a system dialog to open files. On GTK based desktops such as the one used on standard Ubuntu, this is a GTK3 dialog.

It would be very handy if one could directly search for a file in that dialog the way it currently works in Files. Unfortunately, that is not the case. It currently only searches in the current folder, and does not allow to specify multiple search strings like Files does.

So the reason is that Files and the GTK3 dialogs are different open source projects. They may handle some things a little bit differently. In this case, this indeed leads to a behavior that is not fully consistent.

  • 1
    I have upgraded from Ubuntu 18.04 to 20.04. In 18.04, this issue was not present. Since upgrading to 20.04, I'm seeing this issue. Any suggestions on resolving this?
    – Rabindra
    Mar 22, 2021 at 12:49
  • 1
    Delve into the source code and recompile, or file an issue with the developpers.
    – vanadium
    Mar 22, 2021 at 12:51
  • Tweaking source code is not a good idea for me to mess around with. I work on python and that too I'm very new to it. Thanks for the reply. Sorry for delayed response. Hope to find any other solutions.
    – Rabindra
    Mar 23, 2021 at 5:05

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