Since I changed from Unity to Gnome 3.8, nautilus has not remembered any view options:

  • Every time I launch nautilus, hidden files are displayed
  • Nautilus doesn't remember view settings for any folders (e.g. I change to sort by date modified, descending, in ~/Downloads, but next time I start nautilus it has forgotten).

Any ideas what could be causing this?



I realize that When using Nautilus (Fedora 19 - Gnome 3.8) an icon named "Files" appears in the top left of the screen (not in the window of Nautilus itself). Right click in the icon and choose "Preferences". After changing the settings we should close and restart Nautilus to see the results.

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  • 1
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This behaviour was changed from remembering the view settings on a folder-by-folder basis to remembering the view settings on a window-by-window basis. See the bugs:


and the upstream bug:


I'm not sure that this was a good user design change. I think some users would rather when going to some folders to see a set of icons and for other folders to see a detailed list, depending on the contents of the folders. It doesn't seem to make sense to have the view setting stick based on the window.

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  • There is also a bug report about bringing back the folder-based view mode settings in Nautilus. If you would like to have the option to for example always display your photos as icons sorted alphabetically and your downloads as a list sorted after date, you can comment on this issue. – joelostblom Feb 14 '16 at 1:30

Turns out the fix was to clear my Nautilus settings (I guess some settings from when I had Unity installed must have been messing with the new version of Nautiulus):

$ rm -rf ~/.config/nautilus; rm -rf ~/.config/nautilus-extensions; dconf reset -f /org/gnome/nautilus/

Source: https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?pid=1266840#p1266840

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  • This didn't work for me. I'm having this problem when using Nautilus 3.6.3 with Unity. Do you think it's unity related and if I switch to Gnome, it'll get fixed? – Felipe May 6 '13 at 19:44
  • I guess it's possibly a bug with Unity - are you using Ubuntu 13.04? If so it seems likely that it's a bug introduced with the 13.04 upgrade – wyqydsyq May 7 '13 at 1:57
  • It is a bug... :( – Felipe May 16 '13 at 18:25
  • dosent help..i guess it bug – slier Oct 17 '13 at 9:43
  • Never had this issue in 13.04. Now that I've upgraded to, I am having the issue. – pileofrocks Oct 18 '13 at 3:33


You can manually change nautilus settings like that:

gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.preferences default-folder-viewer 'list-view'

Tested on Ubuntu 16.04. From now Nautilus remembers that I want list-view)

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For all people who find this thread by googling: The answer is hidden in one of the comments. If you use GNOME Shell, then the preferences are "hidden": Open an instance of nautilus and then click the "Files" window on the left in the system bar at the top. Then click "Preferences". You can set and save view preferences here in the "Views" tab.

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Sort settings are remembered on a per folder basis in Nautilus 3.18. View settings are not, they are instead remembered on a per window basis. I think it would be more sensible for both to be persistent on a per folder level, but in the meantime, you can use Ctrl+1 and Ctrl+2 to quickly toggle between list and icon view.

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Nautilus>Preferences(Left corner)>View

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  • This menu doesn't exist in the new version of Nautilus, so the problem still persists... To change the view you have to go to the right corner of the window and select the view. This still doesn't get saved and upon restart, the folder view goes back to default. – Felipe May 6 '13 at 19:47
  • There should still be a settings menu - try hovering over the title in the top left of the panel, you should see the app menu there – wyqydsyq May 7 '13 at 1:58
  • I noticed that if you are using gnome shell, you can access Nautilus preferences by right clicking "Files" on the top-left side of the system bar. – Julio May 7 '13 at 9:14

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