When you drag and drop a folder with nautilus, you must carefully set both windows on non overlapping areas of your screen, otherwise selecting one folder will bring the windows to the front, hiding the second one.

On Windows, doing so will stick the explorer.exe windows to the back and let you drag and drop the folder. I suppose it detect a long click to decide whether or not bring the window to the front.

Is that possible with Ubuntu?

Now I know that Nautilus now has split panels by pressing F3, but that not handy. Most of the time, you open a folder, THEN decide to copy. With split panel, you must decide, THEN split the panel and go to the right folder.

  • check 'select window when mouse over..' from windows menu. Do not check auto rise. Now drag your file on nautilus launcher in unity panel, if there are multiple window then all will show in expo mode. drag your file in your desire window. – shantanu Sep 11 '11 at 17:55
  • This will change the way focus it get and is not desirable. – e-satis Sep 12 '11 at 19:26
  • I am flagging this for removal. No acceptable answer. If you have reason to allow this to be open then flag it for a moderator and give your explanation. – Ringtail Feb 28 '12 at 3:30
  • @bluewrider. You need to keep this open because if nautilus ever add this feature, it could be posted here. Plus, what the problem with letting it opened ? It's not like it will leads to problems doing so. – e-satis Feb 28 '12 at 12:17

While you're dragging hold your mouse over the taskbar icon of the nautilus window, and it'll be raised to the top so you can drop your files in it.

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    That doesn't work in several cases: if you have a several windows, you have to remember the one you want instead of just seing it and if you have a doc, it groups several windows in one. – e-satis Aug 5 '10 at 6:54

If you drag down to the taskbar, the window will be raised so you can drop into it. Also, you can right-click on the window bar or the taskbar entry of the window you want to drag to, and select "Always on top".

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    The all purpose of the stuff is too limit clicks. If I have to click on "always on top", then rather just copy / past. – e-satis Aug 5 '10 at 6:54

Well, now that Unity is the default desktop in Ubuntu, there is no way to do this anymore, as there is no taskbar. Bugs have been filed to cover this issue (https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=76672 for example), but GNOME developers seems to have decided to just ignore the problem (this bug was reported in... 2002!).

Too bad, no easy drag and drop between Nautilus windows for Ubuntu Natty users...

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As mentioned in other answers, you can drag the file to the taskbar and the window will be raised, but that is not the only solution to your problem.

You can also use more generic solution: you can set auto raise window in window manager settings which can be found in system -> preferences -> windows. By setting a timeout forauto-raise, you will only need to move your mouse over certain windows to raise them to top.

This is a rather convenient feature when you combine it with focus follows mouse option. You can easily switch from application to application just by moving your mouse over to the other application.

Of course, this forces you to adjust to a different way of working, but what doesn't?!

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  • That could have been a goog idea, unfortunetly, it still rise you windows on click as well. Meaning you still get the first windows covering the second one, meaning you have exactly the same problem. – e-satis Aug 5 '10 at 6:56
  • auto-raise will raise the other window after you move your mouse back to that window. While the source window will move to top once you select something from it, the target window will raise when you move the mouse over it. – Ressu Aug 5 '10 at 7:36
  • Yes, and that's no handy. Suppose you have a big maximize nautilus windows that is your workspace. It's open all the time. Then you want to copy somehting from it somewhere else. You have the other windows opened, you click on your main one, and doh, the second one disapear behind the first one. You can just use Ctrl+C again. – e-satis Aug 5 '10 at 13:14
  • ah, ok. You might want to add that to the original question as well. (so that others know as well) – Ressu Aug 5 '10 at 13:55

I think it is now easier in Unity. Drag and drop on Unity bar (left). It works for multiple windows too. Drag your file on icon - if there are multiple windows then they will be shown with expo view - and drop where you want to.

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