In Windows, I frequently will do things like copy a folder path from a save/open dialog and paste it into the address bar of Windows Explorer to browse the folder. This seems to be even more needed in Ubuntu owing to the crippled file dialog (can't rename, move, delete, etc) How can I do this in Ubuntu?

Specifically, how do I:

  1. Copy paths out of Save/Open dialogs
  2. Paste paths into an 'Address Bar' so Nautilus can go right there
  • So summarizing, all that you want to is show the path of the processed file in the c/p dialog, right?
    – Lucio
    Apr 4, 2013 at 23:05
  • @Lucio I don't quite get your question; hopefully my edits made my objective clearer
    – Nick T
    Apr 4, 2013 at 23:11
  • But I mean that you can't copy the location of any address if you can't see it. So, first you have to show the location of a file in the c/p dialog.
    – Lucio
    Apr 4, 2013 at 23:16
  • Forgive me, I have no idea what a c/p dialog is--you mean a file dialog? As per this question, you apparently don't need to "see" the path in order to copy it.
    – Nick T
    Apr 4, 2013 at 23:23
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    @NickT I take it this is the dialog you mean? As far as I can tell there is no way of directly copying the path in that scenario. CTRL + L only opens an empty entry box to put the path in but does not convert the "breadcrumb" view into a selectable path. Apr 4, 2013 at 23:30

2 Answers 2


Pasting paths into Nautilus' "address" bar

You can activate the "location" view with CTRL+L. To permanently show the path instead of "breadcrumbs" you will have to manually change a dconf key:

gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.preferences always-use-location-entry true

To revert the changes simply execute the following command:

gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.preferences always-use-location-entry false

enter image description here

Copying file paths in the Save/Open dialog with Nautilus 3.4.2

As @AliNa pointed out, it used to be that you could access the location of a file or folder in the save/open dialog in the same manner as you can in a regular Nautilus window

This feature has been abolished in recent Nautilus releases as part of GNOME's design philosophy.

However, you can still access the file and directory paths from the context menu:


It seems as though this method has been removed as well in more recent revisions of Nautilus (the ones that ship with Ubuntu >12.10)...


How can I copy the current path from Nautilus?

Typing location path instead of clicking directory buttons in the file picker dialog?

How do I change dconf keys without a gui (for a post-install script)?

  • 1
    I don’t have this menu item in 13.04 dialogs (Nautilus 3.6.3)! :( Apr 5, 2013 at 0:27
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    I think they’ve sacrificed functionalities for simplicity. Apr 5, 2013 at 0:29
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    God, with GNOME apps it's one step forward - two steps backwards on each revision... I'm glad I stuck with 12.04.. Apr 5, 2013 at 0:30
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    That sounds awful. I sincerely hope Canonical will have stepped in by 14.04 and either forked Nautilus or created a file manager of their own. It's such an essential part of the Ubuntu experience that it really should not be left at the mercy of a few GNOME developers with questionable design principles. Apr 5, 2013 at 0:46
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    Somehow stumbled across this Linus gem; apparently you're not the only one who thinks that way.
    – Nick T
    May 16, 2013 at 21:25

To paste a path into an 'address bar' without changing settings : Alt+F2 (run command) then type nautilus + paste the path. Nautilus takes you there.

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