File Browser

The File Browser is used in all the file-related operations. These include:

  • Opening and saving blend-files.

  • Browsing inside other blend-files, when appending or linking data-blocks, see Linked Libraries.

  • Importing from/exporting to other file formats.

  • Picking new locations for existing file paths (images, videos, fonts…).

The most common way to use this editor is through modal operators (like opening or saving a blend-file). It will appear maximized, waiting for the operation to complete, and then close and return to the former screen layout.


You can always select several entries in the File Browser, the last selected one is considered as the active one. If the calling operation expects a single path (like e.g. the main blend-file Open one), it will get that active item’s path, other selected ones will just be ignored.

You can also keep the File Browser open, as any other editor type, to browse through the file system. The main purpose of this is to be able to drag-and-drop media files:


The File Browser.

File Region

File Path

Text field for the current folder path. Tab will auto-complete an existing path. If you type a non-existing directory path, you will be prompted to create that new directory.

File Name

Text field to edit the file name and extension. When saving, if the background is red, a file with same name already exists in the folder. Tab will auto-complete to existing names in the current directory.

Increment Filename -, +

Removes/Decreases or adds/increases a trailing number to your file name (used e.g. to store different versions of a file).

Confirm Return

The main button to validate the operation, which defines its name. Double-clicking on a non-directory item will have the same effect.

Cancel Esc

Cancels the file selection (and the underlying operation), and closes the File Browser. Using the Back to Previous button in the Topbar will have the same effect.


The left region is divided in two areas, Bookmarks on top, and the Operator panel at the bottom.


The top one displays different ways to quickly access some directories, in four lists. Clicking on one of the shortcut entries will immediately navigate to that folder.


Contains all OS-defined available volumes, e.g. drives or network mounts.


Contains OS-defined common directories, like the main user folder…


Contains folders that you want to be able to access often without having to navigate to them in the File Browser. To the right of that list are buttons to perform basic management actions on your favorites, e.g. add/remove an entry, move it up or down in the list, etc.


Contains recently accessed folders. The X button to the right allows you to fully erase this list.

You can control how many folders appear in this list with the Recent Files number field of the Save & Load tab in the Preferences.

Operator Panel

Shows the options of the calling operator. Besides common actions listed below, many import/export add-ons will also expose their options there.

Open, Save, Save As Blender File

See Opening & Saving.

Open, Replace, Save As Image

See Supported Graphics Formats.

Link/Append from Library

See Linked libraries.

For the common option:

Relative Path

See Relative Paths.

Main Region



Both LMB and RMB clicks work. Holding Shift will extend the items selection.

(De)select All A

Toggles selecting all files.


Dragging with LMB starts a box selection.

Arrow Keys

It is also possible to select/deselect files by “walking” through them using the arrow keys:

  • Just using an arrow key, the next file in the chosen direction will be selected and all others deselected.

  • Holding down Shift while doing this does not deselect anything so it extends to the selection, plus it allows to deselect files by navigating into a block of already selected ones (minimum two files in sequence).

  • Holding down Shift-Ctrl further selects/deselects all files in between.

If no file is selected, the arrow key navigation selects the first or last file in the directory, depending on the arrow direction.

If you select a directory and hit Return, you will go into that directory (and highlighting ‘parent’ .. entry will bring you up one level).

File Management

Delete Files Delete, X

Delete the currently selected files.

Rename F2

Change the name for the currently selected file or directory.


Be careful, there is no way to undo those actions!



The File Browser in Thumbnail mode.

In its Thumbnail display mode, the File Browser supports many types of previews. These include:

  • Image and video formats

  • Fonts

  • Blend-files

  • Internal Data-blocks

See Blend-files Previews for how to manage Blender data previews.