Edit: GitHub issue report

I find it hard to change focus (either by keyboard, or automatically) from the sidebar to the contents view in Nemo 2.8.7 on Ubuntu 16.04. Nautilus does not have this problem.

I want to be able to navigate through folders quickly, by typing in starting characters of folders, using arrows and pressing enter/backspace, without having to use a mouse, or possibly any shortcut to switch the problematic focus on the sidebar.

enter image description here

How I can switch:

  • using a mouse
  • by switching between icon/list/compact views with a shortcut - control+1/2/3 (ridiculous)
  • by opening the bookmarked folder in a new window - control+return (even more so)
  • by opening the bookmarked folder in a new tab - shift+return, switching to the previous tab and back with alt+1 and alt+2 (...)

How I want to switch:

  • at the first click/return key press on the sidebar.
  • also with a shortcut (like tab), back and forth

What can be done about it?

1 Answer 1


TLDR: Hit F3 twice.

You can toggle the focus between the sidebar and the current tab with F6. Works flawlessly for me in Nemo 5.2.4.

Edit: After trying this solution a bit more, I now sometimes encountered situations where F6 didn't work. I then had to click once into the current window, afterwards it worked again. Strange and unpleasant behaviour.

Edit 2: One way to reproduce the problem is to open the search bar and close it again (2x Ctrl-F). F6 doesn't work then. However, hitting F3 twice works for me.

  • F6 works for Ubuntu 22 Files and is not documented in the shorcuts pane. However, when typing return it does not act as the focus is on the sidebar... Commented Oct 24, 2023 at 8:34

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