A search here at StackExchange, at Reddit & via Google yields no clear answer. Has anyone found a way to force list view as the default view?

3 Answers 3


You only need to click "View as List" and it will be your default

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  • Thanks for your answer. I tried that, but the choice didn't survive reboot on my install of Loki.
    – F. Lagnab
    Commented Jan 27, 2018 at 1:24
  • Maybe you need to manually set /org/pantheon/files/preferences/default-viewmode to "list" Commented Jan 27, 2018 at 2:18
  • That's what I discovered. (See my answer to myself, below.)
    – F. Lagnab
    Commented Jan 27, 2018 at 7:02

Depending on your version, this setting may be at the new location /io/elementary/files/files/default-viewmode. This changes to the mode of the currently active tab or last tab closed (which will be the end one if you have more than one).

Tabs will restore with the mode they had when the app closed. Default viewmode is used when you press the + button to create a new tab or if you create a new tab using <Ctrl>-T or the Duplicate tab option.

You might like to monitor this setting with dconf-editor while using Files to see its behaviour.

  • In older versions there is a behaviour where icon mode is automatically used when a folder containing icons was opened - regardless of the default mode. This behaviour has now been discontinued. Commented Jan 27, 2018 at 9:09
  • Thanks, Jeremy. See my answer of 27 Jan, above.
    – F. Lagnab
    Commented Jan 28, 2018 at 22:57

Ask and I shall receive ... Five minutes later, I found my answer at https://askubuntu.com/questions/134371/how-do-i-set-default-view-to-list-in-nautilus-file-manager

  • Nop, Nautilus isn't the file manager in elementary OS. Commented Mar 12, 2018 at 1:24

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