In QGIS I can happily bring in layers and then group them together.

Problem: Once a group has been created and I load a new layer into QGIS, that layer is then automatically placed in that group. And if I have multiple groups, the new layer is added into the most recently created group or the last selected group. I've tried selecting the white space of the layers panel to deselect any layer but that hasn't any effect.

Is there a method to either freeze groups so that nothing happens to them so no new layer can be added, or is there a way to deselect everything in the layers panel so that new layers are just added to the top/bottom of the list?

  • @GermánCarrillo - I think you should convert your comment to an answer ;)
    – Joseph
    Sep 12, 2016 at 9:17

1 Answer 1



I gave this a second thought and created a simple plugin called New layers to the top, to allow users to control whether new layers should be added to the top of the layer tree or to the selected group (QGIS default behavior).

The plugin consists of a toggle button, so you can enable the "to the top" option permanently and disable it when you want.


I don't know if there's any other way, but you can right click on the white space of the layer tree, which will really deselect any layer/group and will make new layers be placed at the top of the list when inserted.

  • Cheers. This works well enough, but I was hoping for something a little nicer (like just clicking on the white space). I've raised a feature request (hub.qgis.org/issues/15551) in the hope of making it easier. Sep 12, 2016 at 12:32
  • I was also hoping something simpler, that's why I initially posted a comment. Good that you opened a ticket, that's the way to go! Sep 12, 2016 at 12:35

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