If you’ve upgraded your system to 10.04 “Lucid Lynx“, then you may have noticed one of two possible things with the “Location Bar” in Nautilus: you either only have “breadcrumbs” (those navigation buttons above the folder contents) or an “address bar” where you can enter text to browse to another folder. There used to be a very handy toggle button to the left, but in their infinite wisdom the developers have chosen to remove it.
Most disgruntled users seem to be complaining that they’re left with “ugly” and “useless” breadcrumbs, whereas they’d prefer to have the address bar, so they can type addresses. For me and many others, it was the other way around, as those breadcrumbs are invaluable for jumping back or forward many folders with one click, and the address bar is occasionally handy for typing or pasting in a path. Actually, I was constantly using the toggle button, since while breadcrumbs were fine for much of my browsing, I did a lot of copying of folder paths for various tasks, as well as pasting paths to system folders for system hacks I found online.
Since there is no longer a toggle button, users with only breadcrumbs will need to hit Ctrl+L to show the text-entry address bar (and Esc to go back to breadcrumbs) You can also hit the / key and it will show the address bar, but empty (well, except for it beginning with “/“), ready for you to type or paste an address (so if you want to copy the address of the current folder, use Ctrl+L). Note that once you refresh a window, it will go back to breadcrumbs, so if you want to make it stick as the default, use the tip at the end of this article.
If you’re stuck with the address bar, you might find Ctrl+L does nothing to bring back your beloved breadcrumbs. For this, you’ll have to hack a Gnome setting, so open Applications > System Tools > Configuration Editor (or Alt+F2 and enter gconf-editor). Once open, browse to /apps/nautilus/preferences/, and in the right pane you will notice the option “always_use_location_entry”, so untick that to reset it to breadcrumbs. You can then use Ctrl+L for when you need the address bar, and click the Reload button to get back the breadcrumbs once finished. Note that currently clicking Reload doesn’t always bring back the breadcrumbs, but if you browse to another folder, or use your Back/Forward buttons, the “Location Bar” will then be reset.
For those wanting to make the address bar view the default, you’ll find that there is no tick next to “always_use_location_entry”, so when you tick it your “Location Bar” will be a text-entry address bar from then onwards.
If you’d like it to default to location entry (address bar), you can always take the easy option and paste the following command into a terminal:
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