How to change back Nautilus as your default file manager

This tutorial will explain if you install any other file manager like pcman (This is your default file manager) etc and you want to change back to ubuntu default file manager (Nautilus) follow this procedure

(1) System--->Preferences--->System Settings

(2) Select Default Applications -> File Manager and select ‘Other' at bottom, then the ‘browse' option -- "..."

(3) Select ‘Add' from the ‘Applications Preference Order'

(4) Type in "Nautilus" rather than browse for it, click OK.

(5) Ubuntu associates this with ‘File Manager', adding this as an option and Select ‘File Manager'.

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12 Responses

  1. Dan D says:

    There is no pick for system settings in my preferences. I checked in the edit menu and there is no selection to add it either.
    Running Intrepid

  2. papukai says:

    Upgrade to Karmic.

  3. bud says:

    I’m on karmic and cant find system settings.

  4. Fernando says:

    I have no system settings in my System–> preferences. Same as Dan D I checked the edit menu, and I don’t have a selection to add it either.

    I am running Karmic. Am I missing something?

  5. KlausR says:

    Install ‘systemsettings’ from the repos. It’s originally for KDE.

    I could’t just type in ‘Nautilus’, instead I had to select /usr/bin/nautilus

    But it works!

  6. stef says:

    or you could just use gconf and change the value for filemanager in /desktop/gnome/session/required_components back to nautilus.

  7. Abi says:

    I installed Ubuntu 9.10 with ‘kubuntu.desktop’ and ‘lxde’. After testing LXDE Gnome starts PCMan instead of Nautilus.

    Cause I changed a lot I don’t know if I’m right with this way, just test it … ๐Ÿ™‚

    1.) In (4) type in “nautilus” not โ€œNautilusโ€, think it will work better … ๐Ÿ˜‰

    2.) The way (1)-(5) changed the default file manager in KDE too. ๐Ÿ™

    3.) My way:
    Edit “/home/[USER]/.local/share/applications/mimeapps.list”

    from this:
    [Added Associations]

    [Removed Associations]

    to this
    [Added Associations]

    [Removed Associations]


    Here I used ‘[OTHER]’ instead of the long list in my file.
    Please change the position of ‘nautilus.desktop;’ only …. =)

  8. Thanks. It worked for me. I too installed LXDE on Ubuntu, and soon after testing it, my default GNOME File manager changed from Nautilus to PCMan. But your fix worked. Thanks

  9. Dermot McDonnell says:

    How do I do set the default file manager in Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty) to Nautilus? System Settings no longer offers a way to do this as described above. Thanks in anticipation.

  10. Dink says:

    There is easy way to change default file manager in ubuntu. Just do in terminal


    then switch to Utilities tab and select File Manager you prefer. And that’s all!

  11. Aleksey says:

    thx Dink! It worked)

  12. Bassam says:

    You are the best man, easiest way to change file manager

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