Change the default View and Sort options in Windows 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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9 Responses

  1. Steve says:

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

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

  3. jarze says:

    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.

  4. Garik K says:

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

  5. Troop says:

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


  6. Amorin says:

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

  7. Akhilesh M V says:

    u gave clear solution and it worked perfectly…………….thanq

  8. Singadick says:

    Finally ! Thank you for a good explanation :-)

  9. Yar says:

    I think it tries to bundle all the different “date” concepts. From observation, it tries to sort files first by date taken (if pictures), then by date created, or by any other available date data or recorded timestamp. (date data? haha).