How to enable Tree View in Ubuntu 17.10 Files Manager

Expanded Tree View is missing in recent Ubuntu versions.

When it comes to file explorer, I think Tree View is efficient way to navigate inside folders, especially if one has several sub-directory levels. Older versions of Ubuntu had the tree view feature under the Nautilus User Preferences settings, but for some strange reason the team decided to kill it, thus adding to frustration among users.

Tree View in Ubuntu 17.02

Tree View in Ubuntu 17.02 after making the dconf tweakThankfully, due to the greatness of the open source world, nothing is impossible. Tree View can be enabled in the Ubuntu Nautilus by installing dconf-editor.

What is dconf-editor?

dconf is a low-level configuration system meant to provide a backend to the GNOME settings on platforms that don’t already have configuration storage systems. This is great tool for making several tweaks to Ubuntu, one of those is what we will be making here.

Enabling Tree View in Files (Nautilus)

STEP 1: Launch Terminal.

STEP 2: Enter the following command to install dconf-editor. You will have to enter the root password when requested.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install dconf-editor

Installing dconf editor
Installing dconf editor

STEP 3: After the installation is complete, go ahead and launch dconf Editor from the ‘Activities’ menu.

STEP 4: Pay attention when inside the dconf editor. Any accidental changes may make undesirable changes to the Ubuntu settings. Carefully navigate into /org/gnome/nautilus/list-view/ and turn ON use-tree-view setting as shown:

Enable Tree View
Enable Tree View

STEP 5: Close the dconf editor.

STEP 6: Launch File explorer and you should see the tree view in it. Enjoy!

Kiran Kumar
Hi there! I'm Kiran Kumar, founder of I'm an avid Linux lover and enjoy hands-on with new promising distros. Currently, I'm using Ubuntu as a daily driver and run several other distros such as Fedora, Solus, Manjaro, Debian, and some new ones on my test PC and virtual machines. I have a day job as an Engineer, and this website is one of my favorite past time activities especially during Winter ;). When I'm not writing for FOSSLinux, I'm seen biking and hiking on scenic trails. Hope you enjoy using this website as much as I do writing for it. Feedback from readers is something that inspires me to do more, and spread Linux love!. If you find a time, drop me an email or feedback from the 'Contact' page. Or simply leave a comment below if you found this article useful. Have a good day!


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