How to change Default File Manager to something else?

Hello Everyone,
I'm using Zorin Pro and I would like to change the default file manager to Dolphin and set Dolphin the default instead. Is it possible ??

Thanks a lot in advanced

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Yes, you can:


Thank you so much :blush:

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Just so you know, installing Dolphin on Zorin 16 could install 182 new packages, not just one, because it's a KDE application, not Gnome.

To see this, run in terminal (no sudo):

apt install -s dolphin

Its a simluation and just shows what would be installed.

I get this summary when I run the simulation on Zorin 16, along with lots more details.

0 upgraded, 182 newly installed, 0 to remove and 13 not upgraded.


Hi @Topaz
Thank you for your comment, that's right I have tried it, but I want to install another file manager for Zorin and make it the default file manager doesn't matter if it's Dolphin or something else.

If you install Nemo you will not get so many additional packages, only 30 total on my Zorin 16, which is more reasonable. It normally belongs to Cinnamon desktop.

0 upgraded, 30 newly installed, 0 to remove and 5 not upgraded.

I am not familiar with the features, so I can't say if you will like it, but Linux Mint with Cinnamon is used by a lot of people.


Even fewer packages (7) with Caja, which is the default on MATE desktop.

0 upgraded, 7 newly installed, 0 to remove and 5 not upgraded.

Caja is a fork of an older Nautilus version and retains features Nautilus once had. Nautilus has since been renamed as Files which you have now.

There is also Thunar, used on XFCE. 19 packages installed.

Note: I have never replaced Files with something else, so can't say doing this will be problem free. As to the steps needed, I could not give any advice. Images and more information can be found by searching the web.

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Thanks a lot @Topaz

As you mentioned, Thunar is for XFCE so it may not work properly depending on which version of Zorin you're running.

Out of the 20 or file managers I've tried (most are junk), Caja seems to be one of the better ones. However, not sure how to add it as a Favorite to my toolbar (like most other applications). Which makes it a pain trying to find it to open it

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Thunar works perfectly properly on Zorin OS Core.

I prefer Nemo File Manager and it can be set as default with:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background show-desktop-icons false

xdg-mime default nemo.desktop inode/directory application/x-gnome-saved-search

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