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Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr: Nautilus 3.8 was updated with a patch that allows switching between the type-ahead find (interactive search) feature that was available in Nautilus 3.4 and the new recursive search that was introduced with Nautilus 3.6.

Further more, the default behavior in Ubuntu was set to type ahead find, instead of the recursive search that was used in the previous Ubuntu versions (and which is default in upstream Nautilus).

Type-ahead find allows to type the name of a directory or file in the file manager to select it without searching in the sub-folders while the recursive search is, like the name suggests, a search inside the current folder and all its sub-folders which makes it annoying at times if all you want to do is select a file in the current directory - after all, Nautilus does have a search button you can use if you want to search everywhere.

Type-ahead find (default in Ubuntu 14.04 starting today):

Nautilus type-ahead find

Recursive search (default in upstream Nautilus):

nautilus recursive search


How to switch between type-ahead find and recursive search in Nautilus under Ubuntu 14.04


To switch to recursive search in Nautilus under Ubuntu 14.04, use the following command:
gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.preferences enable-interactive-search false

If you want to switch back to type-ahead find ("interactive search"), use the command below:
gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.preferences enable-interactive-search true

You can also do this by using Dconf-Editor (yes, the package is called "dconf-editor" in Ubuntu 14.04):
sudo apt-get install dconf-editor
Then navigate to org > gnome > nautilus > preferences and set the enable-interactive-search value to what you'd like to use.


If you want to switch between recursive search and type-ahead features in Nautilus under Ubuntu 13.10 or 13.04, see our previous article: How To Disable Recursive Search In Nautilus 3.6 or 3.8 [Patch w/ PPA]
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