Paraview open file from external drive - not given as an option

In both Linux and Windows Paraview does not have an option to read a file from an external disk dive. Clicking on ‘File’, then ‘Open’ brings up the ‘Open File’ window, and you can only see the internal computer drive (normally C:/ in Windows); no external drives are visible. Similarly on Linux, there’s no option to read from an external drive.

Was Paraview intended to be like this, or have i got something incorrect in my installation of Paraview? I’m running a recently recent version (5.10.1). How can i fix this problem?

It is useful to be able to read from an external drive, as files for processing can to be quite large, and i dont want this bulk on my main computer drive. It’s usual for most software to read external drives, eg. D:/ E:/, so i’m wondering why this is so on Paraview. Surely it would be farily minor modification in the Paraview software to fix this?

Will an upgrade be available to sort this problem, or is there a way to change the system so i can read external drives?

many thanks, N

Welcome to ParaView, @neil!

This is not expected behavior. I filed an issue here:

ParaView has a custom file dialog, so it’s possible that it has not accounted for external drives.

Can you confirm that if you plug in your external drive and then select ParaView’s File → Open… item, the volume still doesn’t appear?

Dear Cory,

Thank you for getting back to me on this issue.

I just tried it, and sure enough, ParaView does not see the external drive. I tried this on both Linux Mint and Windows 10 operating systems and in both cases, the external drives cannot be seen. I also tried this with several other external drives and it does not see any of them.

I’m using the external drive with both Windows and Linux as a kind of large scratch pad memory for a single computer, which dual boots to either Windows or Linux. Other programs in Windows and Linux can see the external dive and files contained without problems. The strange thing is, when I first tried ParaView and the external drive, it did see it, a behaviour that I expected. However, now the external drive is not seen at all from ParaView when you go from the main menu, ‘File’, ‘Open; only the internal :C/ drive is seen. Right clicking on the file select bar at the top, or clicking on other buttons would also not reveal the external drive, so it’s almost as if it’s not there from the ParaView perspective.

So it kind of looks that it did work, and then for some reason it stopped working, in both Linux and Windows, so something clearly untoward.

Many thanks for any help.



I mapped the external hard drive to a network drive letter. Now I can access it.

The caveat is that it needed to be a drive letter that Paraview already recognized…i…e. I couldn’t use an arbitrary letter.

So I disconnected/unmounted an existing network drive and used its letter to map to the external hard drive.

Got me out of a jam but naturally, a fix is needed :slight_smile:

Yes, I did see this post earlier – thank you. But certainly a fix at source, would ease the problems of having to map a network drive, or for new users having to go through this loop to find a solution.



I think Cory flagged it as an issue on github - looking forward to the fix :slight_smile:

I put this down as a ‘Feature Request’ on the Paraview website, so folks may vote for it, and hopefully then an updated version of Paraview will have this capability. Best wishes, N

Hi @neil @Sandeep_Jella -
I wanted to let you know I looked at this issue, and on Windows I have a work-around for you. If you hit the “Reset favorites to system default” button as shown in this screenshot, ParaView will detect new drive letters and display them. The disadvantage is it erases any other favorite directories you might have saved.

On Linux you have to do a little more work - on my Ubuntu box, new drives are automatically mounted at /media/username/HASH which you can see in the screenshots I attached to the issue. @neil I was wondering on Mint, where are external drives auto-mounted? If the file browser doesn’t tell you, you might run lsblk in a command prompt and you should be able to decipher it.

I am planning to fix Windows so it searches for new drive letters when the dialog is opened, but hope the workarounds help for now.

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Hi Aron,

Yes! Thank you, that works perfectly in Windows, great solution! That’s will be a great help to many people.

In Linux Mint, the directories are in as you indicate /media/username/

However, I can go into Paraview in Mint, but I don’t seem to be able to get the open file menu to navigate to that location, nor can I ‘Reset favourites to system default” so it picks up the external drive. Is there perhaps something else I could do?

Many thanks,




I’m surprised. On Mint, If you go to the “Look In” combo-box at the very top of the dialog, can you select “/” (the first entry)? Then “media” should be listed and you can navigate from there. An alternative is to type or copy/paste the full directory name “/media/username/HASH” (with the actual values substituted) into the “Name:” entry at the bottom and click the Navigate button.

If these don’t work, can you describe what happens?

BTW, on Linux, there are no separate drives to list - everything is mounted under the root “/” somewhere…

Indeed, thanks for this!

Hi Aron,

Yes, I was surprised, but if you go to select “/”, so you’re right at the top directory, then only 14 subdirectories of the total 22 subdirectories are displayed from Paraview. So somehow, it’s only taking a selection, and the subdirectory /media/ is not available for selection. Perhaps this is some protection mechanism, otherwise I have not a clue. All the same it’s great to get it working on Windows.

If you try to copy/paste in the pathname then, Paraview doesn’t allow you to paste into the field. So that’s a bit like Windows.

Many thanks,



Have you tried adding a symbolic link inside your /home/user folder to your mounted external drive folder /media/user

I’ve added a separate “Locations” list in this MR, which will check for and show new drives each time the file dialog is opened. It also adds /media/username or /run/media/username to the list on Linux, if one of those directories exists. This feature will not appear in ParaView 5.11, but will be in the next version.

Dear Aron, that’s great news to hear! Many thanks, N