Somehow the default sort order in open dialogues has changed to be sorted by Modified. It's changed in all programs, not just a specific one.

This forces me to reach for the mouse and click the Name column every time I open a file (maybe I'm nitpicking but this gets annoying...).

How can I set the default sort order back to Name? Nautilus sorts by name by default when I browse into folders.


Run dconf-editor (I assume that you've already installed dconf-tools package),
then navigate to org->gtk->settings->file-chooser and set value of key sort-column to name
or simple click on "Set to Default" button


  • 2
    Thanks for the answer, it seems that should work but my sort-column is already set to 'name', and I hit set to default just to be sure. When I goto open a file it's still sorting by modified (I've tried several programs). – Sheldon Nov 29 '11 at 14:33
  • 1
    I have the opposite problem - it's sorted by name, and I'd like it to be sorted by modified. I tried changing "sort-column" to "modified", but no luck. Any ideas? – begtognen Jul 15 '13 at 12:09
  • Thanks. This let me change sort order in gtk2 apps like Firefox to have directories first like the rest of the system uses. – Sean Aug 12 '16 at 14:33

If the above dconf-editor answer doesn't work for you, try the method described in this answer. Edit ~/.config/gtk-2.0/gtkfilechooser.ini. Look for the section beginning with [Filechooser Settings] and change SortColumn=modified to SortColumn=name.

protected by Community Apr 10 '12 at 19:01

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