GNOME 3.12 Files/Nautilus “Sort Folders before Files” issues

I’m using Arch and recently updated to GNOME 3.12 and immediately noticed an annoying visual issue whereby the GNOME Files application (aka Nautilus) would display files interwoven with folders whereas I strongly prefer showing folders first then files. The Files app does have a preference called “Sort Folders before Files” available but it doesn’t work, enabling it doesn’t do anything and checking the preference dialog a second time shows it back to being unchecked.

To work around the issue, I ended up using the dconf-editor application to change it manually. Navigate to the org.gnome.nautilus.preferences key and set the option sort-directories-first to true.

To achieve the same effect for the Open and Save file dialogs, navigate to the key org.gtk.Settings.FileChooser and set the option sort-directories-first to true.

29 thoughts on “GNOME 3.12 Files/Nautilus “Sort Folders before Files” issues

  1. Hey, thanks for this. The gtk file chooser was all jumbled on my newly adopted Manjaro and this post showed me how to fix it. 😀

  2. thank you for this, this was annoying me for quite some time now.
    any idea on how to do the same for the “copy to” or “move to” functionality?

  3. Thanks! for me (F22 gnome 3.12 ) this worked ,
    gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.preferences sort-directories-first true

  4. I’m on Fedora 26 w/ GNOME, no keys to “org.gnome.nautilus.preferences sort-directories-first”.
    What worked for me was “org.gtk.Settings.FileChooser sort-directories-first”.

  5. Bump – using Gnome 3.14.4 with Debian Jessie in the year 2018, and this solved the same issue for me. Thank U, Gerald Nunn. (I want my Gnome 2 back…)

  6. I came across this looking for the opposite – I’m dumbfounded that anyone would want folders sorted separately from files, and I’m trying to find out how to intermix them on Ubuntu Mate.

    There are so many problems with putting folders first that I can’t believe the practice has survived. I hope you find the configuration that you want – and I hope I find the configuration that I want.

  7. Stan: There is a very good reason to sort directories before files. Namely, when drilling down through a directory hierarchy, one is likely to have to select several directories, but only one file at the end.

    Trying to find a file in a list of five hundred files is the cost of a large directory. Trying to do the same for a directory when what you really care about is inside it is infuriating. Sure, you can often type your way there, but open/save dialogues are inconsistent in their handling of this.

  8. Open the File browser
    when it is active the “Files” option will be visible in top menu.
    Click it > Preference > Tick “Folder before files”

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