One thing I really hate about Ubuntu is how easy it is to accidentally delete files.

Is there any way to show a pop-up confirmation dialog when the Delete key is pressed, before a file is actually moved to the trash?

  • It does ask if you Shift-Delete something (permanently). It's only reversible deletes that are not queried. – ams Dec 22 '11 at 13:43


Nautilus there is. Right click a file and move it to trash or deleting files.

enter image description here

Command line

The command line add a few aliases in ~/.bashrc

# Command line
nano ~/.bashrc

# Graphical
gedit ~/.bashrc

Add a few aliases and activate noclobber

alias mv='mv -i'
alias cp='cp -i'
alias rm='rm -i'

set -o noclobber # Override >|

No clobber prevents you from redirecting and overwriting to an existing file.

So echo 'add this' > file not over write a file if it exists. You can still append echo 'add this' >> file. You can over ride it by adding a "|" echo 'add this' >| file

Delete key

I do not know any way of over riding the delete key. You may be able to map the delete key to a script, but, as I would assume you would use the delete key for other tasks, you would then map a key combination to perhaps a zenity script.

Perhaps someone else will add a way to over ride the delete key.

  • The entire question is about confirmations when accidentally pressing the Delete key though... – user541686 Dec 22 '11 at 0:43
  • You're going in the wrong direction, bodhi. The OP wants a way to add an extra confirmation message to stop things automatically going to the trash. Not remove confirmations. – Oli Dec 22 '11 at 0:58
  • I think I posted too fast, updated. @Oli - do you know an easy way to add the desired function to the delete key ? – Panther Dec 22 '11 at 4:33

The lack of an option for this is a result of the Gnome philosophy of striving for simplicity at the expense of easy customisation.

I would recommend switching to another file manager which has this option, like Dolphin or Thunar.

enter image description here

The default file manager is also difficult to configure in Gnome, but there are instructions to do so on the Ubuntu wiki.

  • Thunar does not have this feature anymore. – user308164 Dec 19 '16 at 17:31

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