Drag and Drop File Auto Opens Folders

Bug #1301083 reported by Jay Mac
This bug affects 21 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
nautilus (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

When dragging and dropping a file, if the mouse hovers over a folder for a split second, the folder opens.

This behaviour is quite jarring. Whether or not you intended to drop into that folder, you may not have intended to open that folder.

The hover time can't be set. And the behaviour can't be disabled.

It's a very significant usability issue for Ubuntu 13.10.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 13.10
Package: nautilus 1:3.8.2-0ubuntu2.2
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.11.0-18.32-generic
Uname: Linux 3.11.0-18-generic x86_64
ApportVersion: 2.12.5-0ubuntu2.2
Architecture: amd64
Date: Tue Apr 1 20:21:16 2014
 b'org.gnome.nautilus.window-state' b'geometry' b"'1144x859+1331+77'"
 b'org.gnome.nautilus.window-state' b'sidebar-width' b'140'
InstallationDate: Installed on 2014-03-18 (14 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu-GNOME 13.10 "Saucy Salamander" - Release amd64 (20131017)
MarkForUpload: True
 PATH=(custom, no username)
SourcePackage: nautilus
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

Revision history for this message
Jay Mac (jmac939) wrote :
Revision history for this message
Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

Thank you for taking the time to report this bug and helping to make Ubuntu better. The issue you are reporting is an upstream one and it would be nice if somebody having it could send the bug to the developers of the software by following the instructions at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Bugs/Upstream/GNOME. If you have done so, please tell us the number of the upstream bug (or the link), so we can add a bugwatch that will inform us about its status. Thanks in advance.

Changed in nautilus (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low
Revision history for this message
Jay Mac (jmac939) wrote :

Reported at https://bugzilla.gnome.org/post_bug.cgi as:

Bug 727790 - Drag and Drop File Auto Opens Folders

Revision history for this message
Vincent Hindriksen (vhindriksen) wrote :

It changes the behaviour completely and therefore disrupts people's existing workflow. Therefore it should be configurable, or at least have an option to set a delay.

I would do anything to get the old behaviour back!

Revision history for this message
Vincent Hindriksen (vhindriksen) wrote :

The link to the bug-report at Gnome is here: https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=727790 (Jay Mac had the right ID, but wrong website).

Revision history for this message
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in nautilus (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
Teo (teo1978) wrote :

How can this even be "importance low"? Doesn't anybody realize the huge SECURITY RISK this bug involves?

You drag a file onto a folder, for just a fraction of a second more than the time it takes for the folder to auto-open. Then you drop it, but when you do, the folder has just opened and you have accidentally dropped the file onto a subfolder within the folder. Unless you double check, you may not realize where you have moved the file and you may loose it forever. You may have moved it (without realizing) into a subfolder that you will later delete, without knowing it contains a file that you never intended to move into it.


We already know that Nautilus development has degenerated into complete dementia, and that until it gets repleced with something else in Ubuntu, it constantly needs patching to revert regressions like this one (which are made on purpose, because of demential design). But an issue like this should be considered high importance, if not critical, as it can lead to DATA LOSS.

Revision history for this message
Jerry (arctracer) wrote :

This is an extremely annoying problem! The default should be to NOT automatically open folders during drag-and-drop. How about letting the user decide how long to hover before opening the folder? Give people an option at least.

Revision history for this message
James Marshall (marshall-james-c) wrote :

This bug is infuriating. It makes Nautilus unusable for any task involving organizing files / folders. Time is wasted backing out of folders every time you drag and drop a file. It is even worse if you accidentally hover over the wrong folder.

Revision history for this message
eltimbalino (eltimbalino-org) wrote :

This bug just caused me to loose hundreds of old photos when I deleted a subfolder that I had previously checked as being duplicates, but it had somehow been filled with photos I wanted when it opened unexpectedly. I cannot get these photos back.

Please update the number of people being effected from 11, to 11 million since it hurts all current Ubuntu users.

Revision history for this message
draxbear (drax) wrote :

Just adding my 2c worth, very worthwhile to make this optional via a setting please.

Revision history for this message
Biji (biji) wrote :

moving files by dragging it to folder, most of the time resulted in wrong target directory.

DIR2/ -> DIR3/
File DIR4/

First case:
I want to move file by dragging to DIR2. While dragging, DIR2 will open and show DIR3 and DIR4. Then I release it, where is the file now? DIR2.. wrong, the file in DIR4 (nautilus open folder below the mouse)

Second case (suppose i like auto open folder on drag :) ):
I want to move file to folder DIR3/. I drag File above DIR2/, wait DIR2 to open. Showed DIR3 and DIR4, moving mouse to DIR3.. but oooops DIR4/ opened too quick, the file goes to DIR4 again :)

I hope there is better solution for this


Revision history for this message
Silas Arn (silas89) wrote :

I like this as a feature. But it leads me often to mistakes, dropping in a subfulder. A good resolution would be that if one folder opens, the subfolder under the cursor is gray and inactive, if i release the mouse it is dropped in the current folder.

Revision history for this message
Alexandros (onedrawingperday) wrote :

This bug makes organizing files with Nautilus on Ubuntu 16.04 irritating.

It's been 2 years since the original bug report.

Can somebody please look into this? Pretty please with sugar on top!

If this behavior is considered a feature by the Nautilus team, then at least give us an option in the settings to set a time delay before the folders open on hover.

Revision history for this message
Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

@Alexandros, what desktop environment do you use? It's a setting for that and it's disable by default under unity, see bug #1532370

Changed in nautilus (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Fix Released
Revision history for this message
Alexandros (onedrawingperday) wrote :

@Sebastien Bacher I'm on Ubuntu Gnome 16.04. The Nautilus version is 3.14.3 and there is no 'open-folder-on-dnd-hover' setting at the dconf.

It seems that the bug fix was implemented for a later release of Nautilus... :(

Changed in nautilus (Ubuntu):
status: Fix Released → Triaged
Revision history for this message
joshu aghora (josh-gura) wrote :

This is still a bug. No, it is NOT a feature if anybody from Gnome happens to be reading.
Ubuntu 16.04, Gnome3

Usually if I am moving files to a new folder, i hesitate to confirm to myself if the move is really what i want to do, then in the blink of an eye i have navigated inside the folder without even wanting to. Talk about a "feature" that I don't desire in an operating system. Lose the "feature" folks.

Revision history for this message
Alexandros (onedrawingperday) wrote :

@joshu aghora (josh-gura)
Well it seems that the Ubuntu Gnome team has no plans to fix this for 16.04 LTS.

You can either add the Gnome Team staging :ppa from Launchpad and upgrade Gnome to 3.20 (not ideal, because it might break the system) or move to another distro.

I am still running the same Ubuntu Gnome 16.04 installation that I had when I reported this bug 7 months ago and I've learnt to live with it. But it's still very annoying and I am considering switching to Open Suse Leap with Gnome 3.20 because of this bug and other problems that I am currently having with Ubuntu Gnome.

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