GNOME 3 – Delete Key Not Deleting/Working in Nautilus

In GNOME 3 it seems that the keyboard shortcut to delete a file in Nautilus is actually Ctrl+Delete, this is fine I guess if it’s trying to stop people accidentally deleting files or something but it’s pretty annoying.

To change the keyboard shortcut from Ctrl+Delete back to the usual Delete do the following:

Open a terminal and type:


If you don’t have it, install it the usual way.

In the application that just opened, on the sidebar click:

org > gnome > desktop > interface

And check the box entitled: can-change-accels.

Now, leave this window open and open up Nautilus.

Select a file that you want deleting and then click on Edit in the Nautilus menu, hover over the Move To Trash button and here press the button you wish to assign to the action, so for example Delete. You may have to press it twice (the first time it will remove the old key-binding and the second will assign it the new one.)

Go back to dconf-editor and uncheck the can-change-accels option to stop any other keyboard shortcuts being changed and you’re all done!

22 comments to GNOME 3 – Delete Key Not Deleting/Working in Nautilus

  • valery

    Thank you! It’s working! :)

  • Golgo

    Thank you so mutch for the trick! It was really annoying.

  • Dyl

    This works, but my problem is that it’s only temporary. Whenever I restart my computer I have to rebind the keys.

  • THX man! :)
    Means a lot!

    Also, You seem to have a little typo: it’s gconf-editor, not dconf-editor… :P

  • Oh, the embarassment!
    It’s dconf-editor alright!…

    Cheers And thanx again!

  • Hehe, no worries. Yeah initially that’s what I thought it was too >.<

  • anon and fed up with stupid gnome 3

    won’t work, gnome 3 sucks

  • […] Zum Glück kann das Verhalten theoretisch geändert werden, indem man per dconf-editor oder gsettings org.gnome.desktop.interface can-change-accels kurzfristig auf true setzt und mit der Maus über das Nautilus Menu Bearbeiten -> In den Müll verschieben fährt und dann zweimal Entf drückt (siehe auch diese bebilderte Schritt für Schritt Anleitung). […]

  • Andreas

    Thanks a lot, worked for me.

  • Andre

    Thank you, worked for Fedora 16.

  • Anonymous

    Jesus fucking christ i cant even delete a fucking file without jumping through flamming hoops. Gnome 3 is garbage, i dont have time for this shit. some of us have work to do, and god forbid the developers programmed this hot mess with productivity in mind.

  • Apokatos

    This was the most disturbing gnome update ever people!
    I just used a little timer to time some tasks i regularly do, between gnome 2.x and 3.x…
    gnome 3 should return back to the drawing board.
    It is a shame that it has become this monster.
    I wonder how many gnome 3 developers envy mac users.
    Is it the hipster developers that did it?
    I bet they are all little arrogant selfish b’s.
    KDE here I come.

  • Dr.Death

    Thank you, this was very useful for me

  • Truxton Spangler

    Since this was one of the first hits when i researched this problem i will share my specific solution. I use nautilus (3.2.1) but >don’t< run Gnome. I use lxde/openbox without gnome-settings-daemon which requires to edit/create a file to change the value of gtk-can-change-accels.


    I had to create the setting.ini file as well as the gtk-3.0 directory. In the file you put:

    gtk-can-change-accels = 1

    Save the file and restart your desktop session. Now you should be able to change the hotkey in the way it's described above (open up Nautilus…).

    After you have changed the hotkey you have to edit the file again (to gtk-can-change-accels = 0) and restart your desktop session once more.

    If someone has a better/faster solution let me know.

  • Thanks Truxton,

    Hopefully someone else will find that useful if there isn’t a quicker way.

  • annoyed gnome user

    didn’t work for me neither with dconf nor with gconf…. => just another annoyance in gnome3, two different configuration backends… never know what to use!!

    gnome3 is a bad product with good intentions, where the developer thought everbody is as stupid like their mom…


    Why do you want to change the shortcuts??. Gnome users are not lazy people, they like more and more complex ACTIVITIES. Gnome developers are so genius (they think in all POSSIBILITIES). In next years, the Ctrl+del will be change to Ctrl+CODE(seveen digits)+del where the robbers and my cat will not be able to delete any file of my system.

  • […] ära muuta (Dconfist can-change-accels ja siis ära muuta vastav kiirklahv… pikemalt näiteks siin) ning seejärel ~/.config/nautilus/accels fail kopeerida koos vastava kataloogipuuga /etc/skel […]

  • StevenKH

    shame, but it does not work, for in Nautilus the menu-bar is not showing.

    Right-click on the file and hovering over the option “move to trash” has no effect.

  • Johnf241

    requirements. Recognitions pro suggestion like operative, balanced, explanatory as well as moreover exuberance thinkings about this issue to Gloria. gaccddgkegae

  • […] in Nautilus 3 neu belegen lassen, sollte sich den sehr anschaulich erklärten englischen Blogpost gnome 3 delete key not deleting/working in nautilus nicht entgehen lassen. In Kürze funktioniert das Umändern […]

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