17 Dolphin File Manager Tips and Tweaks for KDE Users

Do you know what is the superpower of KDE? Customization.

Yes! KDE is customizable to the core. Every aspect of the desktop can be customized and this sometimes overwhelms the user.

I am not going to overwhelm you in this article. We have covered tweaks for file managers in GNOME, Cinnamon and Xfce on It’s FOSS. It’s time for KDE.

I am going to list some of the ways you can utilize the Dolphin file manager in KDE to get more out of it.

Let’s begin!

1. Create files from built-in templates

In Dolphin, you can right-click anywhere on a blank space inside a directory and select the Create New option from the context menu to create various template files.

Create Different Template Files by right clicking on an empty place
Create Different Template Files

2. Split view

One of the coolest features of Dolphin is its ability to show split window, and it is available right in the default configuration.

Click on the Split button on the top toolbar to access it.

Click on Split button on top right to split the view into two panes
Click on Split

You can do operations like drag and drop, copy and paste etc. here. Once done, click on the close button to close the split view.

Click on Close button on top right, to close an opened split view
Click on Close

3. Add folders to Places for quick access

Right-click on a folder and select Add to Places.

Add Folders to places on the Left Sidebar for quick access
Add Folders to Places

This folder will be added to the places section on the left sidebar, and will be easily accessible.

4. Selection mode

Dolphin provides a selection mode. To activate this, click on the Hamburger menu on the top-right and click on the “Select Files and Folders” option.

Click on Select Files and Folders option from main menu button
Click on Select Files and Folders

This will open a selection mode, where you can click on files and folders to select them. As soon as you click on any item, you will see a new menu bar containing useful actions appear at the bottom.

Dolphin Selection Mode
Selection Mode

5. Open directories in the Places section in separate Tabs

In the Places section on the left sidebar, you can press the CTRL key and then click on the items to open them in separate tabs.

Open Directories in the Places section by pressing Control Key and then clicking on directory name
Open Places in Tabs

6. Add additional panels

Dolphin has a list of additional panel, disabled by default. You can enable them as required.

Select Show panels option from main menu
Show Panels option

Information Panel

To open the information panel in Dolphin, click on the top-right hamburger menu and select Show Panels ⇾ Information.

As soon as you click, you can see an information panel is activated on the right side. This panel will show the details of the currently selected file or folder.

You can even preview video and audio files in this preview pane!

Preview Files in the Information Panel
Preview Files

Embedded Terminal

This is one of the additional panels, that can be used very effectively. First enable it by Menu ⇾ Show Panels ⇾ Terminal

Once enabled, you can use this terminal for most of the usual functions. Also, if you cd into a directory, the GUI part of Dolphin will also move into that directory and vice versa.

Drag and Drop files and folders in Embedded Panel
Drag and Drop in Embedded Panel

It also supports drag-and-drop of files.

In the below screenshot, you can see that all the additional panels are enabled.

Dolphin File manager with all panels enabled
Dolphin File manager with all panels

7. Explore column elements in list view

If you are on Dolphin’s Detailed view, by default, there are only a few column entries. Now, right-click on top of the column element name, and you will see many items that can be displayed as column entries.

Enable additional elements in Detailed View of Dolphin
Additional Elements in Detailed View

8. Use folder visit history

You can click on the back arrow on the top toolbar to access a list of directories that you visited previously.

Get Folder Visit History by right-clicking on the back arrow button on the top left part
Get Folder Visit History

9. Restore closed tabs

If you have closed a tab accidentally, and want to restore it, like in a browser, use CTRL+SHIFT+T. Or, if you want to select from a list of recently closed tabs, go to the menu, select “Recently Closed Tabs”.

You can see a list of tabs, that have been closed recently.

Restore closed tabs in Dolphin
Restore Closed Tabs

Click from the list to open that particular tab. Keep in mind that, it will not restore if you have restarted the system.

10. Verify checksum of files

To verify the checksum of an ISO or other file, select that file, right click on it and select Properties.

Right click on an ISO file and select Properties option
Click on File Properties

Now, go to the Checksum tab. Here, if you have a hash value for that file from its official website, paste it in the box provided. It will tell which checksum algorithm is matched.

Or you can click on the Calculate button adjacent to each algorithm to get that value.

When the officially provided checksum value is pasted on the provided blank space, checksum is automatically calculated and verified
Checksum matched

11. Paste images from the Internet

Dolphin supports multiple ways to save an image from the internet.

By copy and paste

Right-click on an image on the internet and select “Copy Image”. Now, open the folder where you want to paste the image and select “Paste Clipboard Contents”.

Right click on an empty place and select Paste Clipboard Contents option
Paste Clipboard Contents

It will open a dialog box, where you need to select an image format. Here I have copied a PNG, so I chose PNG from the dropdown list. Also, give the file a name. Once done, click OK.

Give a name to the file and also select the format of the file from the dropdown menu
Name the file and select format of the file

That’s it, the image will be pasted there!

By drag and drop

This is more convenient. Click and drag an image and drop it to the location you wanted. Then, select the “Copy Here” option when asked.

Drag and drop an image from the internet to copy it to your local folder
Drag and Drop an Image

Do you often search a particular file or content frequently? Then you can add this search to the quick access. This will help you to get that search performed quickly.

First, click on the search icon on the top bar. Now, in the search box, type the term you want to search for. You can either search within file name or within file contents.

Now, click on the save button on the right side of the search bar.

Save a search function to your sidebar for quick access
Save a search function to your sidebar

A new entry appears in the quick access area. Whenever you want to perform that search again, click on it!

While clicking on the main menu, right-click menu etc. you will get many unknown options, that you are not sure of. So, in Dolphin, while you hover over such menus, you can see a tool tip, asking you to press the Shift key for more information.

A small tool tip is displayed for a menu item, when hovered over it
Tool tip displayed for a menu item

So, while hovering over a menu item, press the shift key, and you will get a concise explanation of what that menu item does.

A concise explanation of the item is displayed, when pressed the Shift key, while hovering over the item
Concise Explanation of the Menu Item

14. Copy location of a file or directory

It’s fairly easy to copy the location of a file/directory in Dolphin. Just right-click on it and select Copy Location.

Right click on a file or folder and select Copy Location to copy its absolute location to your clipboard
Copy Location of an Item

The absolute path to that item will be copied to your clipboard.

Select the Configure option from the main menu and go to Configure Dolphin.

Select Configure option from main menu and then select Configure Dolphin sub-menu item
Select Configure Dolphin

Now, go to the Context menu tab and check/uncheck your choices. Means, what to appear/hidden in the right click context menu.

Configure the context menu using the
Configure the Context Menu

You can also download some actions from the website by using the download button.


Avoid downloading and using additional actions from this section of configuration. Since most of the actions need some additional dependencies, if you follow this method, you will fail to find out. Thus ends up in a broken experience.

You can hide some sections from the left sidebar. To do this, right-click on the section heading, and check the Hide Section option.

Right-click on a sidebar entry and select Hide checkbox to hide it from the sidebar
Hide and Entry from Sidebar

17. Rotate, resize, convert images in Dolphin

This requires the installation of a third-party plugin, called ReImage. Go to the KDE store and download the release file. Since I am using Kubuntu 23.04 here, I will download the DEB file.

Install this on your system. You can use QAptPackageInstaller, a Gdebi like installer for Qt system. Because, it can install the required dependencies also, automatically. Close and open, dolphin.

Now, when you right-click on an image, you will get an additional “Actions” item, which contains the ReImage tools.


Converting Image to PDF may throw error, because of some security issues.

More file manager tweaking

As I mentioned in the beginning, we have covered such tweaking tips for other file managers in Linux. Feel free to explore them if you are not using KDE.

13 Ways to Tweak Nautilus File Manager in LinuxNautilus, aka GNOME Files, is a good file manager with plenty of features. You can further enhance your experience by using these extensions, tweaks and tips.
7 Tips and Tweaks for Xfce Thunar File ManagerThunar is a good file manager by Xfce. You can enhance your experience by using these tweaks and tips.
15 Tweaks to Make Nemo File Manager Even BetterNemo is a good file manager with plenty of features. You can further enhance your experience by using these extensions, tweaks and tips.

I hope you find these tips helpful in getting more out of KDE.

Please share your questions and suggestions in the comments.

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