Sorting a Folder

by Barry Dysert
(last updated December 24, 2018)

I usually try to keep the number of files in a folder to a minimum, but sometimes having a lot of files in a folder just can't be helped. When you have several pages of files in a folder it becomes harder to find a particular file you're looking for. It can help, though, to sort the folder in some way so that you can find the target file more easily.

The figure below shows File Explorer (with the ribbon open) open to my "Windows" folder: (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. File Explorer.

I've circled in red the little arrow in the middle of the Name column. This arrow indicates that the display is sorted on that column. If instead you want to sort on the Type column, thus grouping all text documents together, all applications together, etc., just click on the Type column header. You can sort on any column you see just by clicking that column's header. And if you don't want it sorted ascending, click the column header a second time and it will be displayed in descending order. For example, I keep my Downloads folder in descending order by the "Date modified" column so that my recent downloads are always at the top of the display.

Depending on the types of files in a folder, you may see other columns in File Explorer. To see what all columns are available, go to the ribbon and click the "Sort by" icon in the "Current view" group. Then click the "Choose columns" item. The following window appears: (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. Choosing column details.

This figure shows scores of column details that may be available to view and therefore sort on. Just click the checkbox beside a detail and click OK. If the type of file supports that detail, a new column will appear in File Explorer, and you can sort on it.

 This tip (13602) applies to Windows 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 35 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer. He is currently a software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. When not working with Windows or writing Tips, Barry is an amateur writer. His first non-fiction book is titled "A Chronological Commentary of Revelation." ...

MORE FROM BARRY

Renaming Your Computer

When you buy a new computer, it typically has some obscure name that doesn't accurately reflect your personality. Or ...

Discover More

Saving Search Queries

Windows Explorer has a good search utility built into it. As you use it, you may wish to save your commonly typed ...

Discover More

Changing Regional Settings

Windows makes it easy to set your system to accurately reflect your regional settings. This tip sets you well on your way.

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Saving a Windows Search

Windows has a built-in search utility that allows you to search for strings inside of files. You can even save your ...

Discover More

Pin Items to File Explorer's Quick Access View

You can improve your efficiency at navigating the file system by using the Quick Access view. This tip shows you how to ...

Discover More

Moving Files or Folders

A common operation within Windows is to move files and folders from one location to another. Here are the two major ways ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is three minus 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.