Right-clicking selected files appears to clear selection

Bug #890586 reported by Feathertail on 2011-11-15
This bug affects 6 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
nautilus (Ubuntu)

Bug Description


If you right-click on a selected file or group of selected files in Nautilus, the selection will appear to clear out while the right-click menu is up. This makes it appear as though right-clicking deselected the file(s). Left-clicking elsewhere to dismiss the right-click menu will show that they're still selected, and selecting Copy or Cut works as normal.


1. Select a file or group of files.
2. Right-click on them.


Files will still appear to be selected when a right-click context menu opens on top of them.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 11.10
Package: nautilus 1:3.2.1-0ubuntu2
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.0.0-12.20-generic 3.0.4
Uname: Linux 3.0.0-12-generic i686
ApportVersion: 1.23-0ubuntu4
Architecture: i386
Date: Tue Nov 15 03:20:21 2011
EcryptfsInUse: Yes
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 11.10 "Oneiric Ocelot" - Release i386 (20111012)
 PATH=(custom, no user)
SourcePackage: nautilus
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

Changed in nautilus (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low
status: New → Confirmed
Pedro Villavicencio (pedro) wrote :

Thank you for your bug report. This bug has been reported to the developers of the software. You can track it and make comments at:

Changed in nautilus (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Triaged
Changed in nautilus:
importance: Undecided → Unknown
status: New → Unknown
Changed in nautilus:
importance: Unknown → Medium
status: Unknown → New
Sam_ (and-sam) on 2012-02-09
tags: added: amd64 precise
Sam_ (and-sam) wrote :

Workaround learned from bug 912446
e.g. select files with ctrl+left mouse, make sure the right click to access context menu hits a file name instead of empty space, then it'll be displayed.
Usability pain happened more than once when a file name is short and already selected but right click hits only µm near the file name there will be no related context menu.

Make a newbie survey how many know which shortcuts to use instead. Or rather make a reality check, take a large city council office with over 20000 employees.

psypher (psypher246) wrote :

Hi All,

Any update on this bug. I have upgraded to beta 2 and still occurring. I can confirm that right clicking on the text does provide the correct menu and does not deselect all the files.


yurx cherio (cherio) wrote :

I also noticed it depends on file names (?!?!?!). I created 2 files with the names "1" and "2" and I had a Nautilus Script to compare selected files. The behavior was exactly as you described. I would select these two files and then right-click on them. As soon as I right-click the selection disappears. It worked on the other files though. So I renamed these files and it worked again.

BTW it is reproducible. Just create 2 files with names "1" and "2" in the same folder, Ctrl+click-select them and then right-click on the selection and there you go .........

yurx cherio (cherio) wrote :

Disregard my previous comment. It was stupid. The reason it worked on other files and not "1" and "2" was because "1" and "2" are very short names and I was clicking on the white-space after the file names.

Eugene Romanenko (eros2) wrote :

I have this bug in precise (12.04.3).

Steps to reproduce:

1. Place mouse pointer on some object in folder
2. Press Ctrl-A to select all objects
3. Do not move mouse, just right click

Selection is cleared.

Changed in nautilus:
status: New → Expired
Eugene Romanenko (eros2) wrote :

Why expired? This is most annoying bug in precise!

Changed in nautilus:
importance: Medium → Unknown
status: Expired → Unknown
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