I'm using evince to view my documents under Linux. One thing bothers me, however. It seems to magically remember the position and settings of the window for every document. I searched all over (the hidden directories in my home folder, system files, gconf) for where it might be saving those settings, but I can't find anything. Does anyone know where those settings are?

4 Answers 4


The settings are stored under ~/.local/share/gvfs-metadata/, but this knowledge is of little use since you cannot do anything practical with the binary files therein.

To read or edit the per-document settings, use the following gvfs tools, passing them the path to the document of which you want the settings:

  • Reading: gvfs-info /path/to/file. Example line of output: metadata::evince::n-copies: 5

  • Editing: gvfs-set-attribute /path/to/file metadata::evince::n-copies 1

  • Removing: gvfs-set-attribute /path/to/file -t unset metadata::evince::n-copies (credits to Christophe Drevet-Droguet for this one!)

Paths can be relative to the current dir.

  • 1
    To reset all evince settings for a document: see askubuntu.com/a/819597/88086 Sep 1, 2016 at 13:13
  • @ChristopheDrevet-Droguet Thanks! Answer edited.
    – L. Levrel
    Sep 1, 2016 at 20:03
  • This answer should be updated as gvfs-* tools were deprecated in 2016 in favor of gio.
    – vmonteco
    Feb 10 at 15:02

Things have changed since the previous answer was given (October 2011). The window settings of Evince are now being stored in binary, in the directory ~/.local/share/gvfs-metadata/.

  • These seem to be binary files. Any way of figuring out what the settings actually are? Oct 2, 2014 at 23:33
  • 1
    @Faheem, see the new answer that was just posted.
    – Arjan
    Dec 23, 2015 at 17:22

The per document settings are stored in the file ~/.gnome2/evince/ev-metadata.xml.


You can use gio command. For example, to see the saved position for example.pdf, run gio info -a "metadata::evince::page" example.pdf.

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