nautilus keyboard shortcutsNautilus is the default Ubuntu file manager — and for good reason: it is feature-filled and easy-to-use.

But even though I’ve used it for years there are a couple of keyboard shortcuts I only learnt about recently.

Below you’ll find our list 9 essential Nautilus keyboard shortcuts that might help you do what you normally do a bit quicker.

This list isn’t exhaustive and a great many keyboard shortcuts are not listed below. If one you really think is a must-know isn’t on my list you’re free share to share it in the comments below.

To stave off the inevitable comments about this being pointless/useless/misleading please note that this is a simple list of keyboard shortcuts for Nautilus. It does note include common key combos like Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V, etc; it is not an op-ed piece claiming that keyboard shortcuts are better/worse than any other method; this list does not imply that Nautilus is superior/rubbish compared to other file managers.

With the caveat out of the way let’s flex some fingers…

9 Essential Nautilus Keyboard Shortcuts

1.  Rename Files

Renaming files quickly in Nautilus
Renaming files quickly

I take a lot of screenshots for this site, typically in batch.

I need to rename these shots to something intelligible file names before I upload them because, as great as the auto-named ‘screenshot-2016-05-01-14-19-PM.jpeg‘ is for telling me when I took it, if I want to find screenshots of, say, Geart, the title ‘Geary-Menu.jpg‘ is far more intuitive.

In Nautilus you can Right-Click > Rename to change a file or folder name.

Using the keyboard you can reduce the number of required clicks to one: just select the file you want to rename and hit F2 to instantly open the title editor.

2. View File Information


You may need to mark an app with permissions, see its file size or change its emblem. To view a file’s properties press Alt+Enter/Return with the item selected, or press Ctrl+I.

3. Create a New Folder


Need to create a new folder? Don’t mouse up to the File menu; tap Ctrl+Shift+N

4. Open a folder in new tab


To view the contents of a folder in a new tab you can select it and press Shift+Enter/Return. 

5. Duplicate a file

drag and duplicate shortcut in nautilus

I’ve taken a great photo of my cat Penelope, but I want to edit it before I upload it. I don’t want to replace the existing file so, before I drag and drop it on the gimp, I’m going to duplicate it. How?

Select the file you wish to duplicate and drag it while holding Ctrl.

6. Show Hidden Files

view hidden files in nautilus

It’s surprising how many people don’t know this easy way to view hidden files and folders in Nautilus. For adding themes, icons packs, fonts and conky scripts it’s invaluable.

Simple focus your nautilus window and press Ctrl+H to toggle hidden files on or off.

7. Make a quick link/shortcut


If you want to put an app shortcut on your desktop, or have a quick link to a folder buried deep within a file tree, you can always quickly create a file/folder/app link by selecting the item to link to and pressing Ctrl+M

8. Close all Nautilus Windows


I sometimes end up with multiple nautilus windows spread out over my desktop, particularly if I’ve been experimenting with Conky or GKT themes.

One way to quickly close all Nautilus windows using the keyboard is to press Ctrl+Q. To close only the Nautilus window on focus press Ctrl+W.

9. Switch View

nautilus list view

To switch between icon view (gridded icons, thumbnails) to the simpler list view press Ctrl+1. To go back to the icon view press Ctrl+2.

What are you favourite Nautilus keyboard shortcuts?

#keyboardshortcuts #nautilus #ubuntu basics