Change the default sort order in Nautilus

The default sort order in Nautilus has been changed to sorting alphabetically by name and the option to change this seems to be broken. For example I prefer my files to be sorted by type so I ran


and browsed to org/gnome/nautilus/preferences. From there you should be able to change the value by using the drop down:


Seems easy enough
Seems easy enough

Unfortunately the only option available is modification time. Once you change it to that you can’t even go back to name. This also appears to be a problem when trying to set the value using the command line interface like this:

dconf write /org/gnome/nautilus/preferences/default-sort-order type

I received an “error: 0-4:unknown keyword” message when I tried to run that.

Thanks to the folks over on the Ask Ubuntu forum I was finally able to get it to change by issuing this command instead:

gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.preferences default-sort-order type

where type could be swapped out for whatever you prefer it to be ordered by.

Great Success!
Great Success!


  1. Too complicated for the average user. I’m sure this is on the back burner, but I miss have the short-cut to the preferences menu in the Nautilus window itself. They do it in most other editors so I don’t see why adding this short-cut to the “gear” in the upper right corner would be that hard. Perhaps it is because they are using a unified editor on an environment instead making Nautilus standalone?

    This setting is still an issue in Gnome 3.10, thank you for posting this fix as I was tired of changing between list view and icon view.

  2. Why does this work only for icon view and apparently there seems to be no way to set default sort for list view in dconf-editor. The changes in your post applies only to icon view even if list view is set as deault view

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  1. Change the default sort order in Nautilus | Tyler Burton
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