Whenever I have files cut or copied to the clipboard and want to paste them inside a folder using the mouse in the 'Files' application (default file browser in Ubuntu) I have to first change from list view to icon view then scroll to the end of the list of icons to find a 'hole' to click without selecting another file so I can find paste on the menu. Am I missing something or is the application really this flawed?


You can go to parent directory right click on desired directory and select "Paste into folder" or create a new tab then hold the shift and right click anywhere you want to paste.

The other option is to use drag and drop or keyboard shortcuts (which you already know about it).

  • Nice hack with new tab -> Shift + Right Click, thanks! – Íhor Mé Aug 27 '19 at 14:04

Am I missing something...

No, you're not missing anything...

...or is the application really this flawed?

Yes, it is that flawed...
This, along with the inability to "lasso" files while in list-view mode are two of the most outstanding bugs1 that have annoyed most nautilus users for over 15 years (technically speaking, these were/are actually bugs/limitations of gtk treeview if I recall correctly)...
In the discussion in my 1st link above, António Fernandes promised that the next release will have this fixed via a path-bar context menu. For more details follow the links there. It will look more or less like this:

enter image description here

As far as I am concerned this is too late. If you'll take my advice you'll learn how to use the keyboard for most tasks - that will make your GNOME experience much smoother.

1: I'm not mentioning the Ctrl+Del stupidity here as that was not a bug but a "feature" introduced by the gnome devs. It took several years and thousands of complaints to revert it back to normal. I'm sure any future "History of Desktop Environments" will have a chapter dedicated to that episode.


Right click on a empty space (icon view) for example between 2 items, and you can copy just not right click on a item. (You can use CTRL+V to paste and CTRL+C to copy)


You can paste into the current directory through its context menu in the bread-crumb navigation bar:

Context menu of the current directory in Nautilus

  • You must be using a (very) old nautilus 3 version (prior to 3.6)... For a short time this worked... – don_crissti Sep 14 '18 at 10:27
  • @don_crissti: I do indeed. I thought/hoped this would still work since I see little reason to remove features that don't even take up space or require much additional code. Alas, the GNOME developers appear to disagree and prefer to remove features for no good reason. – David Foerster Sep 14 '18 at 10:43
  • Apparently, it will be back soon (hopefully, this time it's permanent), see my post for more details. – don_crissti Sep 14 '18 at 16:16

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