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Change the default View and Sort options in Windows 7 Explorer


If the Windows Explorer default view and order of a folder’s files is not satisfactory enough for you, there is a way to change it. For example, let’s say you need to have your files by default ordered by type and viewed as a list – not as large icons, nor in detailed view, etc, and not just by name, but first sorted by type and then by name.

1) Make sure you have only one Explorer window open. Right click on an empty space of a folder and select “View – List”, then right click again and select “Sort by – Type” (if you don’t see the “Type” option, click on “More…” at the end of Sort Options and in the list that appears find the “Type” option and bring it to the top of the list.)

2) Press the alt key to release the top menu of Explorer, and go to “Tools – Folder Options”. Go to the second tab (“View”) of the dialogue box that appears, and press the “Apply to Folders” button. You will be asked to confirm; do it.

3) Close the window by pressing the Ctrl key and (with this key pressed) clicking the x button at the right top of Windows Explorer.

You may need to repeat this for each folder type, since Windows keeps different default options according to folder types (image folders, document folders, etc). After a while you will need to repeat the first and the third step, since Windows will revert to its default sorting options after you have opened some (thousands of) times the Windows Explorer.

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6 Responses to “Change the default View and Sort options in Windows 7 Explorer”

  • Steve - May 26th, 2010 20:43

    Why would you need to hold CTRL while closing it? Do you do this with most programs? It is certainly not necessary.

  • TheFreeWindows - May 26th, 2010 21:17

    It is not necessary for a simple close, but it is needed when you need to force windows remember these settings.

  • jarze - November 1st, 2010 13:50

    Somehow related: does somebody know what means that strange plain ‘Date’ column in the explorer? It is not to be the accessed, created, modified or taken date (these were in XP), because they are on the list too.

  • Garik K - March 2nd, 2011 19:50

    Thank you very much! This was such a relief, it finally reordered as a default the way I wanted. Thanks a lot!!!

  • Troop - March 28th, 2011 19:46

    Nice! works fine. i had to search longer than expected to find this.


  • Amorin - March 12th, 2014 18:07

    Wow, this works great! Finally, I have solved this problem. Thanks very much!


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