Ubuntu – How to set visible columns default for the ‘Files’ file manager


I can't find the global settings to fix visible columns in the 'Files' file manager. I repeat: Global settings for the whole system thus NOT per directory.

Thanks for helping out.

Best Answer

In nautilus (the 'Files' manager), open the Edit menu and select Preferences.

In the appearing configuration window, navigate to the List columns tab. You should see a list of checkboxes like the one in my screen shot below:

Nautilus / Preferences / List columns

Simply select your preferred default columns you want to see here.

However, if you ever manually changed the columns for a single folder only, that folder got its own configuration, which has a higher priority than the global defaults this method has set. Therefore it won't take effect in these directories.

You must reset the view settings for those directories manually using one of these methods:

  • In the View menu, click Reset view to defaults to reset the current folder's view.
  • Right-click on the column headlines of the current folder, then select Use defaults.
  • To reset all folder-specific view settings everywhere, delete all files in /home/YOUR_USERNAME/.local/share/gvfs-metadata.

    You should do this from a terminal using the command

    rm ~/.local/share/gvfs-metadata/*

    Then restart Nautilus (there's a daemon running in the background as well!) using the command

    nautilus -q ; nautilus -n & disown