I loaded Nautilus in Xubuntu 17.10 because I like to see the sync emblems with Dropbox. I changed the file manager in Preferred Applications to Nautilus.

When in Nautilus, when I search and find a file, say a text file, and either double click or hit enter, instead of opening the text file in a text editor, it opens another Nautilus window.

This doesn't happen in Thunar.

Switching back to Thunar has the expected behavior of opening a file when I hit enter.

Any ideas on how to make Nautilus open files on enter?

  • Dropbox works fine without Nautilus.
    – user692175
    Oct 25, 2017 at 2:29
  • Yes, but that's not the issue. Syncing is fine, I just can't see the status of a sync without looking in Nautilus to see if there's a green checkmark on the folder. That part works. What is not working is pressing enter or double clicking a file in Nautilus opens a new Nautilus window and not the associated app for the file (like a text editor for a .txt file).
    – NRaygun
    Oct 25, 2017 at 12:50
  • That is to be expected since Nautilus isn't the default file manager, Thunar is.
    – user692175
    Oct 25, 2017 at 12:53
  • But I've changed my default file manager to Nautilus and it still won't open files when I hit enter. I can easily reproduce the problem - if I DON'T set Nautilus as the default file manager in Preferred Applications(that is, leave Thunar as default), it works as expected. When I make Nautilus/Files the default file manager, it does not allow opening of files with enter. What's up with that?
    – NRaygun
    Oct 25, 2017 at 13:25

3 Answers 3


I had the same issue. I fixed it by editing this configuration file:


I had this line


I just commented it out and files now open as expected.

  • 1
    I don't have a mimeapps.list in that directory. Any other ideas? I also looked at nemo and it seems pretty good. Only problem is I can't add the Dropbox support in Xubuntu 17.10. Any ideas on how to add it?
    – NRaygun
    Oct 28, 2017 at 1:16

I wound up loading Nemo 2.8.7 from here. I'd rather Thunar had Dropbox folder emblems, but this will have to do.

Latest Nemo File Manager With Extensions & Patches For Ubuntu Via Dedicated PPA


had the same problem, looks like a bug with Ubuntu Nautilus build. Installed Debian Sid Nautilus over and now it works again:

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