I have a simple problem: Whenever I delete the templates folder in my home directory (/home/[username]/ in case that info is of use) it seems to come back. It contains nothing and I have no use for it. Is there a way to make it go away permanently?

  • What version of Ubuntu are you using? I've just deleted my Templates directory and restarted - it's not come back.
    – Carl H
    May 6, 2015 at 18:27
  • They can come back, depending on your configuration/desktop environment. They're called "XDG user directories". I have no time to delve into it now, but you can search starting from man xdg-user-dirs-update
    – Rmano
    May 6, 2015 at 18:32
  • 2
    Run ` sed -i.bak 's/^XDG_TEMPLATES_DIR/#&/' ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs` and then remove it.....now restart and check..
    – heemayl
    May 6, 2015 at 18:35
  • I'm on 12.04, why? May 7, 2015 at 17:39
  • Add a tag with your Ubuntu version
    – A.B.
    May 7, 2015 at 17:39

2 Answers 2


In your home folder is a configuration file ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs:

nano ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs

with a content like this:


You can comment out the line by which the folder will automatically create:





Or you can use a single command in a terminal:

sed -i.bak 's/^\(XDG_TEMPLATES_DIR=\)/#\1/' ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs

This can be undone:

sed -i.bak 's/^#\(XDG_TEMPLATES_DIR=\)/\1/' ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs

In both cases, a backup of your file will be created:

  • I went into the .config directory and there was no user-dirs.dirs May 7, 2015 at 17:39
  • @It'sWillem open terminal: file .config/user-dirs.dirs what output you get for this?
    – Alex Jones
    May 7, 2015 at 17:45
  • An empty text file named user-dirs.dirs May 7, 2015 at 18:16
  • It returned a "No such file" message May 8, 2015 at 0:36

As said by A.B., you must edit the configuration file:
nano ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs (use nano, vim or another text editor)

After that, remove the desired directories and edit the file:
sudo nano /etc/xdg/user-dirs.conf.

In this file, you must set enabled=False to avoid the system create these directories when logging in again.

(I found this information on https://superuser.com/questions/223918/ubuntu-permanently-remove-videos-and-public)

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