On Visual Studio Code v1.32.3 on Mac OS, and for at least a few versions before this, I am often unable to create files and folders in the sidebar via the default key mappings of a and shift+a, and instead am greeted with a file search / filter.

enter image description here

Typing "a" brings up this filter instead of launching the create file input under the selected folder

Restarting Code restores the file and folder creation behavior for some time, then seemingly out of nowhere the filter behavior takes over again, so I imagine there must be some other key shortcut I'm hitting that toggles the filter behavior.

I don't see any mappings in the default key bindings for those keys that suggest the search / filter behavior is intended:

{ "key": "a", 
  "command": "explorer.newFile",                                     
  "when": "filesExplorerFocus && !inputFocus" },
{ "key": "shift+a", 
  "command": "explorer.newFolder",
  "when": "filesExplorerFocus && !inputFocus" },

I've tried searching the preferences for "Explorer", "Side Bar", and "Filter" but can't find any reference to this filter feature.

So finally my question, how can I restore the file and folder creation behavior or completely disable this filtering behavior? I'm quite happy with cmd+p for finding files.

Or is this a bug? Happy to post issue on GitHub if so.

  • do you solve this problem?
    – ada
    May 11, 2019 at 7:27
  • I have not solved this issue. Right now it is not happening to me, perhaps because of new version, however I've made a note to myself to open an issue on GitHub if I experience it again and will post the link here May 13, 2019 at 17:17
  • 1
    I asked at vscode repo and answered below :)
    – ada
    May 14, 2019 at 9:01
  • 1
    Most f***** annoying thing ever it takes over my keyboard whenever making new files grrrr
    – Dominic
    Jan 14, 2021 at 15:43

5 Answers 5


As of 2022, the older answers don't work. The easiest solution is to update the keybindings. Here is how:

  1. Open the keybindings.json from keyboard shortcuts settings. (⌘K + ⌘S) enter image description here

  2. Remove the existing setting for listSupportFind. (When you search for listSupportFind, there are two settings. Please delete the cmd + f one) This is how it looks now: enter image description here

Thanks to @TrainedMusician for the answer above. Hope the description helps you fix it quickly.

  • For good measure keyboard shortcuts for creating a new file or new folder while in the sidebar still need to be added manually. Nov 4, 2022 at 15:47
  • ehenrik answer was useful for me to reconfigure the keyboard shortcuts for cmd-F. Dec 8, 2022 at 3:44

as of vscode 1.33.1 the option is a bool "workbench.list.automaticKeyboardNavigation": false

EDIT: this setting has been deprecated, see discussion below for possible solutions. Will update when resolved.

  • 2
    I don't know why this got downvoted. This is the correct answer as of June 8th 2019.
    – Adam Reis
    Jun 8, 2019 at 10:08
  • 1
    Oops, I think I down-voted by mistake. Just upvoted and marked as accepted answer. Jun 24, 2019 at 16:50
  • For VScode 1.36.1 this answer is still correct.
    – Plopp
    Jul 11, 2019 at 12:12
  • If you go to settings and paste workbench.list.automaticKeyboardNavigation into the search bar, the setting should pop up and you can set it to what you want.
    – Pro Q
    May 15, 2021 at 10:02
  • This answer does not seem to be correct anymore in 2022, there is no such setting. Sep 18, 2022 at 0:56

Thomazella's answer isn't working anymore in 2022. bradonomics mentions modifying the keybinding. There probably are two matches if you search for 'listSupportFind', I deleted the cmd + f one and it's all good now

Here is a screenshot of keybindings after deleting one of the two shortcuts

  • 1
    Your answer could be improved with additional supporting information. Please edit to add further details, such as citations or documentation, so that others can confirm that your answer is correct. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Sep 20, 2022 at 9:10
  • 1
    This should be the top answer Sep 28, 2022 at 14:21
  • 1
    @Thom what do you mean? a or shift + a are no known shortcuts or am I missing something? On Mac simply hit [CMD + K + (CMD) S] and then search for the listSupportFind bindings, and delete the one you don't want Oct 1, 2022 at 15:38
  • 1
    @TrainedMusician 's recommendation worked for me
    – soutarm
    Oct 4, 2022 at 3:25
  • 1
    Finally, got rid of this annoying feature. Thank you so much. This works as of 1st March 2023. Mar 1, 2023 at 14:08

UPD see Thomazella's answer

Old use this setting "workbench.list.keyboardNavigation": "simple" and then reload window



I found a way to disable this and I did it by changing the When statement for the shortcut command list.find for the shortcut [cmd+ F] to be listFocus && listSupportsFind && !explorerViewletFocus

Old value:

Old value

New value:

New value

  • 1
    two same screens
    – jmp
    Nov 24, 2022 at 20:00
  • Indeed. The screenshot only shows the New Value, which is the more important one. I'll edit the answer for clarity. Dec 8, 2022 at 3:34

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