Is it possible to change the definition of a "hidden file" in Dolphin?

It seems that recently (either the 2023-10-13 or 2023-10-09 updates), Dolphin or its underlying toolkit has extended the definition of a “hidden” file from the traditional Unix definition of anything starting with a dot to include backup files such as “.bak” or “~” endings.

Is there a setting anywhere to revert this? I don’t see anything in the “configure Dolphin” menu, nor does a search for “hidden” in the control centre show anything useful. (Obviously it is possible to just enable “show hidden files” but that would be a PITA in $HOME).

Not insofar I know. Where did you get this information?

A hidden file is a file (or directory) whose name starts with a period. Filename suffixes have nothing to do with that, and I certainly don’t see any indications thereof in Dolphin’s settings.

View properties can be set individually for each directory. Check the Dolphin settings.

By observation of the behaviour of Dolphin:
Hidden files hidden:

Hidden files displayed:

Agree 100%

Tedious with hundreds or thousands of directories, and still wouldn’t give the result I’d like for $HOME (display the backup files and not the dotfiles).

I have never seen that happen. What filesystem is this? :thinking:

I remember reading about this change a few months ago on Plasma developer Nate Graham’s weekly update:

This week in KDE: SDDM – Adventures in Linux and KDE

User Interface Improvements

Dolphin now hides apps’ temp files and backup files (i.e. the kind of useless files that end in ~ or #) unless actively showing hidden files (Méven Car, Dolphin 23.08. Link). This is a 23 year old feature request!

I had a quick scan-read of the bug report in the above quote - it looks like there might be an option available for those who want to keep *.bak & *.old files visible:

Comment 81
Just wanted to note: To unhide any of the file extensions affected by this change / Dolphin 23.08, use “File Associations” in System Settings to create a new file type for them. To the contrary, removing *.old and *.bak from the “application/x-trash” association still kept them hidden (which makes sense since the file types probably fell back to the system association, which is still “application/x-trash”)

Might be stating the obvious, but I think this tip might help someone stumbling into this in future. I was one of the users purposefully renaming files to end in *.bak or *.old and naturally would like to keep them visible.


It’s Ext4, nothing exotic at all.

Dolphin hides backup files - this includes something.bak and something~.

I don’t know where it is configured or if you can change it …

Dolphin now hides all files with mime type application/x-trash. You can change the mime type of .bak files or anything else as described in the following posts of that thread.

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Geez. :man_facepalming:

I guess that’s what you get when you recruit your developers from the Windows ecosystem. :roll_eyes:

Thanks everyone. Does anybody know how to put a feature request into KDE suggesting that there should be separate options to hide hidden files and backup files?


Thanks, I’ve put in a suggestion


Maybe they’ll get round to that in another 23 years… :rofl:


This is from the article linked to by @scotty65 :

Dolphin now hides apps’ temp files and backup files (i.e. the kind of useless files that end in `~` or `#`) unless actively showing hidden files (Méven Car, Dolphin 23.08. [Link]( This is a 23 year old feature request!
The article seems to be about Plasma 6. Most of us (on Stable) don't have that yet, but certainly looking forward to something new and shiny.

I have mixed feelings about this particular feature – on the one hand, it’s good to hide unnecessary clutter; but on the other, there are times I wish to easily find temporary files for reference.

Aside:- The long-standing ability to use a .hidden file to hide files/folders not starting with a period, is something I’ve always appreciated, and is seldom ever documented.

I never noticed, as I always display hidden files.

That fear (and it is a fear, irrational or not) of not knowing what files are on my system probably extends from my always setting ‘Show File Extension’ on Windows, when MS stopped showing file extensions, by default, and I was never comfortable not knowing what type of file I was double clicking on.

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Sometimes it’s preferred to open a file in a non-Microsoft application. It’s inconvenient enough having the same icon for a family of file types, without having the extensions hidden aswell.

The illusion; or the lie, if you will; is that “all your file types are a belong to M$” (adapting a popular meme from the 90’s).


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