"Files" File manager is not working on my Ubuntu 20.04 system.

If I try to open it from terminal by using nautilus command, still nothing is happening.

But if I try with sudo nautilus command then It can open. But each time I dont want to open it through terminal command. I want it to open through UI only as it was working before.

I had recently installed docker on my system. I thought this was happening because of docker installation. so I completely uninstalled docker using these steps, but still issue has not solved.

I have also tried below solutions. But nothing has worked for me.

  1. reinstalling nautilus-data using below command
sudo apt-get install --reinstall nautilus-data
  1. terminating the running nautilus process and restarting it using below commands
ps awx | grep nautilus
sudo kill -TERM <id>
  1. Uninstalling and reinstalling Nautilus

sudo apt-get remove nautilus

sudo apt-get autoremove
sudo apt-get clean
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install nautilus

  • 5
    You've likely run it before via sudo nautilus & made a change that as a consequence, has removed access from your user for one of it's configuration files. It shouldn't be run with sudo, or should you do it, you should be careful to not change ownership away from your own $USER and give ownership to root. Look for files in $HOME that aren't owned by you anymore & correct your ownership
    – guiverc
    Oct 27, 2021 at 10:35

1 Answer 1



The issue was I had changed ownership of nautilus to root user only while doing something. Because of that I was not able to start nautilus from terminal OR "Files" from UI as a my regular USER.

Thanks to @guiverc. His Comment helped me to understand what exactly was happened.


  1. I started nautilus through sudo nautilus command.
  2. In home directory right click and selected Properties.
  3. In permissions tab changed user to my USER. Now I can open "Files" as it was working before.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

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