When using Dolphin, I often end up with focus on the "Places" left-panel. Moving keyboard focus to the main file list is a horrible process, involving pressing Tab once per entry in the location breadcrumbs bar.

Is there any keyboard shortcut to move focus directly to the file panel?

How to switch pane in Dolphin using keyboard? explains how to move keyboard focus between the left/right pane, using Tab. However Tab does not move focus from Places to the file pane.

5 Answers 5


Although, 2 shortcuts, I believe the fastest way would be CTRL+L to select the address bar and then press TAB once to jump to the file list.

  • 2
    Nice. And to get the focus on the places, you can use Ctrl+L then Shift+TAB.
    – Zach
    Commented Nov 4, 2020 at 10:36

At first, I had a hard time recreating this problem because I only display the Places panel and the Files panel. This way the focus is always on the Files panel. I had to open another panel to get it to go somewhere else.

You can use a tool such as AutoKey to achieve the desired result using desktop automation.

I just played around with Dolphin for a minute and found two sequences (of many that are probably possible):

Ctrl+F (opens the Find panel)
Esc    (closes the Find panel and leaves me in the Places panel - a fixed starting point)
Tab 5 times takes me to the Files panel


Just press the hotkey for Places. By default, it's assigned to F9
and then the five Tabs

A sequence such as this is easy to define in an AutoKey script triggered by the hotkey of your choice.

You might be able to send all the keys as one sequence, but, more likely, you may have to send them one at a time with small delays between them because AutoKey emits the keystrokes at machine speed and sometimes applications can't keep up.

The only issue with an approach like this is that it is "hard-coded" and if the Dolphin page layout changes over time/releases, it may need to be adjusted.

To address this, AutoKey offers a second approach which is a bit more involved. It has a visual grep feature from the Xautomation project.

If you can identify a distinguishing feature of the Files panel (this works better for other targets), you can take and save a small rectangular screenshot of the feature and tell AutoKey to find it on the display and put the mouse cursor there. You can then have it click the left mouse button to bring the focus there.

Doing this with the Files panel is a bit tricky because it doesn't have a lot of fixed distinguishing features to search for, but, depending on what else is on your screen, you might get away with a picture of just the upper left hand corner of the Files panel border.

If you explore AutoKey, you will find that it can also do many other similar and much more complicated tasks as the need arises.


I found that pressing F3 twice (to show and hide the "second file pane") focuses the file list.


Pressing Shift+Tab two times skips between the panel and list of files. For some reason the first movement in the panel has to be done with left/right arrow keys.

  • Press Tab twice when on the file to focus on the folder list
  • Press Shift-Tab twice to focus back on the file list

Reassigning keys for those basic focus shortcuts are missing unfortunately from dolphin.

  • Doesn't seem to work on 23.04.2. Pressing Tab twice on the file doesn't seem to do much, and pressing Shift-Tab twice on the folder list highlights the zoom slider on the bottom (I have to press 3 times).
    – nyanpasu64
    Commented Jun 18, 2023 at 7:31
  • As it’s currently written, your answer is unclear. Please edit to add additional details that will help others understand how this addresses the question asked. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Commented Jun 23, 2023 at 2:42

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