Removing entries from Nautilus Places They fixed this in 3.12

Users have been complaining about Gnome’s war on features for some time now, and whilst I agree that sometimes it’s better to have a set of sane defaults, I don’t believe that removing as many options as possible is the best approach. The most recent example I can find on this is the new Places menu in Gnome 3.6.

The new Places menu isn’t really new at all, it’s more separation of Bookmarks from previous versions of Gnome into two separate elements: the defaults (Document, Pictures, Videos, Music, etc.) and the user added bookmarks (non-default folders, network servers, etc.). I use my own bookmarks a lot, certainly more than I use the default ones, and they tend to change fairly often to reflect what I’m currently working on.

Splitting the bookmarks into 2 wasn’t necessarily a bad idea – I can understand why it was done and I think it makes finding what you’re looking for a tiny bit easier. My complaint is that the standard list of Places isn’t editable. You’re stuck with the 8 default entries of:

  • Recent
  • Documents
  • Downloads
  • Music
  • Videos
  • Pictures
  • Wastebasket

This isn’t a bad list if you’re a home user, and probably covers 99% of what you need, however if you want to remove some of them it’s impossible to do through the UI. I don’t have music or videos on this laptop (Spotify and YouTube fill those roles), but I can’t remove them from the Places menu.

I did some digging around and found an interesting file in ~/.config, called user-dirs.dirs. If you open it up using nano, it looks something like this:


Use nano to remove any of the lines which refer to folder you don’t want in the Places menu and save. In my case, I removed the lines referring to Videos and Music.

Restart Nautilus and you’ll be left with a nice clean Places menu:

Making it permanent

There’s one issue which still remains to be solved. Every time you log in, the list gets reset. Thankfully, fixing this is fairly simple too:

echo "enabled=false" > ~/.config/user-dirs.conf

Hopefully this will be useful to someone else.


A. J. McMinn


2nd of December, 2012