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[How to] Set Location Bar In Nautilus As Default

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Nautilus in Ubuntu displays a button-based pathbar by default.

Although I, like many, prefer this approach because it’s simple to navigate and easy to understand, you may prefer to have an address bar show by default.

location bars in Nautilus

The address bar in Nautilus is accessible at any time by pressing the CTRL+L key-combo.

But this only affects the active window, and only lasts whilst the affected windows is open.

The next time you launch your file browser you’ll have buttons again.

Make URL bar default in Nautilus

To make the ‘URL’ bar the default, you need to do two things.

First you need to install ‘dconf-tool’. This is a graphical application where many of Ubuntu’s settings are stored.

Click to install dconf-editor

Next you need set the URL bar to be default.

Open ‘dconf-editor’ (search for ‘dconf editor’ in the Dash) and navigate to the following location by using the tree-menu pane on the left-hand side of the window.

  • org>gnome>nautilus>preferences
Check the box next to ‘Always use location entry’ to enable the URL bar by default.

Use location bar in nautilus by default

Alternatively you can set the option using the command line. Open a new terminal and enter: –

  • gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.preferences always-use-location-entry true

To undo the change just repeat the steps above but this time uncheck the box next to ‘Always use location bar’.

Similarly, you can run the following command to reverse the setting: –

  • gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.preferences always-use-location-entry false