Gnome and Nautilus Keyboard Shortcut Keys

By | 2008/06/27

Some time ago I blogged about keyboard shortcuts for the Gnome Desktop.  I figure its time to revisit some of these.  If I’ve missed any that you find helpful as usual drop a comment.  I am unaware of any definitive list of Gnome shortcuts.  Could this be a start?

Gnome Desktop Keyboard Shortcuts

Alt-F2 : Run Application Dialog

Alt-F1 : Open Applications Menu

Alt-F9 : Minimize Active Window

Alt-Tab : Rotate Current Window Focus

Ctrl+Alt+Left Arrow : Move Virtual Desktop Left

Ctrl+Alt+Right Arrow : Move Virtual Desktop Right

Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Left Arrow : Move Current Application Left

Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Right Arrow : Move Current Application Right

Ctrl+Alt+L : Lock Screen

Ctrl+Alt+Del : Log Out

Ctrl+Alt+Backspace : Restart Gnome (careful)

Nautilus File Management

Shift+Ctrl+N : Create New Folder

Ctrl+T : Delete (to Trash)

Alt+ENTER : File/Folder Properties

Ctrl+1 : Toggle View As Icons

Ctrl+2 : Toggle View As List

Shift+Right Arrow : Open Directory (List View)

Shift+Left Arrow : Close Directory (List View)

Ctrl+S : Select Pattern [enter pattern]

F2 : Rename File

Ctrl+A : Select All

Nautilus Navigation Shortcuts

Ctrl+W : Close Window

Ctrl+Shift+W : Close All Nautilus Windows

Ctrl+R : Reload Nautilus Window

Alt+Up Arrow : Open Parent

Alt+Left Arrow : Back

Alt+Right Arrow : Forward

Alt+Home : Home Folder

Ctrl+L : Location Bar

F9 : Toggle Sidepane

Ctrl+H : Show Hidden Files

Ctrl++ : Zoom In

Ctrl+- : Zoom Out

Ctrl+0 : Normal Size

I know this is a bit of a long list, but I find that using keyboard shortcuts allows me to get more done than reaching for a mouse to navigate around my Desktop.  I know many are much more comfortable with the mouse, but learning a few of these shortcuts can’t hurt either.  Please comment if I’ve missed any shortcuts.

30 thoughts on “Gnome and Nautilus Keyboard Shortcut Keys

  1. journey22

    In nautilus, there is also


    if you want to delete the file immedately, without having to move it to the Trash

  2. MAS

    Ctrl+Alt+Backspace : Restart Gnome (careful)

    It would be better if you mentioned that it restarts X. AFAIK, this works irrespective of the window manager.

    You can add :

    Ctrl+Alt+d : minimize all windows

    useful if you have too many windows open and want to look at something cleaner 🙂

  3. zaipai

    one more shortcut,


    will delete a file permanently and bypass the trash.. Be sure you no longer want it tho.

  4. ronny


    how to disable shift+delete


  5. thomas

    ctrl + h

    to show/hide hidden folders

  6. DIVZ

    how can i add a new keyboard shortcut in ubuntu 8.04

  7. Aaron

    @DIVZ. Go to System->Preferences->Keyboard Shortcuts. It will allow you to add/change/remove shortcuts.

  8. kiran

    How to centre align by shortcut key in spreadsheet

  9. Manuel

    ctrl + t for a new tab
    backspace to return to parent foler
    shift left/right to collapse/expand folders in list view
    F6 switch focus between the side pane and the view pane.

    switching between tabs is harder… if anyone knows a better shortcut key, i would really appreciate it!
    while in the view pane (and while using mulitple tabs) press shift tab one or twice untill you see the tab is selected, then press left or right.
    to go from the selected tab to the contents of that tab, press tab once or twice 🙂

  10. Manuel

    ok, i just found the shortcut keys for navigating tabs!!
    it's ctrl+alt+pageup or pagedown

  11. Oren

    Manuel said:
    “ok, i just found the shortcut keys for navigating tabs!!
    it’s ctrl+alt+pageup or pagedown”

    For me just ctl+PgUp/PgDwn does the trick, no need for an alt in there.

    Two more mouseless tricks:

    1) Select non-adjacent files:
    hold ctl and navigate up or down and use space to select multiple files (toggles select/deselect).

    2) Select adjacent files:
    hold shift and navigate up/down (PgUp/PgDwn works by pagefulls too)

  12. Paulo

    One shortcut I can’t find:
    open nautilus directly from the keyboard

  13. mati

    im looking for the same shortcut Paulo… somebody know how to do that??

  14. mati

    go to System > Preferences > Keyboard Shortcuts, select “Launch home directory”, you can assign +e or anything you want…

    i hope it be useful 😉
    and sorry for my bad english…

  15. eugene

    pressing “ctrl+L” open address bar in text mode.
    pressing “Esc” go back address bar to buttons mode.

  16. David

    I’m trying to figure out why Gnome/KDE in Ubuntu 10.04 grabs the Mod4+S (and Mod4+M) key sequence and how I could remove them from the global configuration.

  17. watson

    how do u maximize a minimized window

  18. Jani "robsku" Saksa

    @ MAS Actually Ctrl-Alt-Backspace kills X server – the reason GDM is restarted (not GNOME, although GDM is “GNOME Display Manager”, but like kdm and xdm they are just programs to graphically login into Desktop or plain Window Manager – you can set GDM to provide menu for KDE, Fluxbox and Ion,or even just Ion.

    GDM runs X server too, though it runs it with root privileges – however the combination works there too as it is running on X.

    Maybe I’m nitpicking, but I just wanted to clarify that it’s X it shuts down, and naturally any programs, including GNOME or other DE or WM as they are just programs too. GDM resurrects, but if you started your X session other way than GDM/KDM/XDM/etc. it would not resurrect, just shut down to text console – so the important point here is that it is not a restart for GUI, it’s a force-kill switch for X – and it’s good to know.

  19. Pjotr

    I for one like dual panes for file management as in Gnome commander and midnight commander. I am missing the F3 function key that actually opens a second window pane in Nautilus. I think that should be listed here.

  20. umpirsky

    Nice post, thanks.

    Is there a shortcut to copy file from one pane to another?

  21. Jani "robsku" Saksa

    Why do all DE’s (I would think Enlightenment DR17 would not, bun who knows) move away from old way all WM’s, except really unusual ones like Ion that I love, keep supporting but for some reason DE’s all suddenly have the idea that there must be other uses for them.

    I mean Alt-F1 to at least Alt-F4 to switch to workspace, it was really logical, it was easy to remember and most of all, moving from another OS that did not make you feel that why are these keys assigned to this functionality… Because they were not assigned by desktop of non *nix-likes to anything important,

    Now on one of them to get into workspace one you press Ctrl-Alt-F1, another might use shift instead of Ctrl or Alt, etc. and alt-F3 launches run-diialog – except in xfce4 where it’s opened with Alt-F2. INSANE!

    And I like two-pane ones too… And ones that come with DE’s have not felt as good as some others so I have ended with two, in text mode or terminal windfow I use mc /Midnight Commander), but if on X I *really* prefer worker, looks uglier but it’s almost as customizable as eMacs – and without even add-on script language support 🙂

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