How do you show a hidden folder (whose name starts with .) in File Manager a.k.a. Nautilus on Ubuntu? I am somewhat new to Ubuntu and can't seem to find the "view" menu.

  • 31
    Press CTRL+H and all hidden folders will appear. Pressing it again will hide all hidden folders.
    – Camicri
    May 22, 2014 at 23:13
  • 4
    Ctrl+H will work in Nautilus, Nemo, Thunar etc, but for Dolphin (KDE's file manager), it may be Alt+. or similar.
    – Wilf
    Nov 28, 2014 at 20:48
  • How do I configure this via the terminal?
    – masterxilo
    Feb 14, 2021 at 19:38

6 Answers 6


Ubuntu 17.10 and earlier

Maximize the folder.

Go to the top menu -->View->Show hidden files:

enter image description here

Or by pressing ctrl + H.

For permanently showing hidden files, you can go to the Edit>Preferences menu item as shown below:


With the terminal you should:

cd /path-of-directory 

ls -a 
  • ctrl + H => works !
    – nanosoft
    Dec 30, 2021 at 9:43

Ubuntu 18.04 and newer

The accepted answer is correct for older versions of Ubuntu.

For newer versions, the image displayed below works

In the top right corner of file explorer, there is a menu button displayed as 3 stacked line (hamburger menu), clicking on that will open a modal, on that there is an option Show hidden files

Image 1

  • 2
    Wow, that option is buried. I would have never found that on my own.
    – wisbucky
    Dec 6, 2018 at 22:15
  • 2
    This is not a permanent fix; for me, it reverts back to hiding files (v20.04).
    – josephwb
    Aug 30, 2020 at 3:47
  • 3
    Is there a way to make this permanent?! I've delete my .git files the thousandth time over now...
    – Bim
    Feb 9, 2021 at 21:19
  • This shows hidden files, but not hidden folders. Oct 7, 2022 at 9:10

Ubuntu 20.04/ 21.04/ 21.10

Using the Nautilus option Show hidden files will only resolve the issue temporarily, but there are ways to set this as the default option.


There is a nice one-liner to do this:

gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.preferences show-hidden-files true

The settings will take effect immediately (even for currently running instances).

with GUI

As posted above you may install dconf-editor

sudo apt install dconf-editor

Then search for show-hidden and activate the option org.gnome.nautilus.preferences.

As you can see in the following screenshot the "same" option also exists for other applications such as the Gtk FileChooser, so make sure you activate the setting where you need it. dconf-editor will also show you the key to use for each setting in case you want to set it using gsettings as outlined in the first section of this post.

dconf editor search result

  • The terminal one did the trick, thanks a lot! But beware, you wrote "gsettings set" twice.
    – Jem
    Oct 26, 2022 at 12:33

For Ubuntu 20.04, the UI is updated to show hidden files. I could see hidden files even after closing and re-opening the application. enter image description here


enter image description hereits really simple

In Ubuntu 18.04, show hidden files is here as shown in the image above...

Isn't it simple


  • Because this is the simplest method that I know and only few clicks can do your work... enjoy :) Apr 15, 2019 at 9:41
  • ok i'll remember that next time Apr 16, 2019 at 4:44

I found a simple solution for permanently showing hidden files by default.

Using dconf-editor you can search files and toggle the desired setting:

Search for files in dconf-editor

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