How to Disable Column Auto Resize in Thunar

Thunar is the default file manager app of the XFCE Linux desktop environment. In this article, we will see how to disable column auto resizing in Detailed List view of Thunar.


XFCE4 is one of the best desktop environments available for Linux these days. It is solid, lightweight and feature-rich. It includes a lot of really useful and great apps. Thunar is one of them.

Thunar In XFCE4

Thunar is a lightweight file manager app. Despite having a minimalist look, it offers a wide range of powerful features for the user. It supports a Recycle Bin feature, can browse Windows SMB shares, FTP servers and other network share types thanks to integration with GVFS (Gnome's Virtual File System).

As you may already know, Thunar supports three view modes. These include:

  • IconsThunar Icons View
  • Detailed ListThunar Details View
  • Compact ListThunar Compact List View

When the Detailed List view mode is enabled, Thunar automatically resizes all columns to fit the file name's length. This can be annoying, especially if you are running Thunar (or XFCE) on a laptop. There is no obvious way to disable this behavior. However, it is possible.

To disable column auto resizing in Thunar, do the following.

  1. Open Thunar.
  2. Switch to the Detailed List view. Tip: You can use the hotkeys Ctrl + 1 .. 3 to switch between view modes. To set the Detailed List view, press Ctrl + 2.
  3. Go to View - Configure Columns in the app menu.Thunar Configure Columns
  4. In the Configure Columns dialog, remove the check box from the option Automatically expand columns as needed.Thunar Disable Column Auto Resize

You are done. Now, you can set a custom width for visible columns. The app will remember it and won't change it when you navigate the file system.

Tip: Using the Configure Columns dialog of the Thunar app, you can quickly add or remove visible columns in the Details View mode and rearrange them according to your preferences.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

4 thoughts on “How to Disable Column Auto Resize in Thunar”

  1. “Now, you can set a custom width for visible columns. The app will remember it and won’t change it when you navigate the file system.”
    How I wish that was true. Sadly it doesn’t work for me. Thunar is expanding the columns anyway.

      1. I must admit, that the checkbox does help a lot with this issue. I am sorry for not stating that clearly before.
        It’s just that the checkbox is not completely stopping Thunar from expanding the columns. I haven’t figured out yet in what is triggering it. But it’s still changing the column sizes every now and then.

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