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2,862 Tutorials

How to sort files in Windows 7

Understanding the options to file by size, name, type and more

There are many more ways to sort files and folders in Windows 7 than there were in Windows XP. Our Helproom Editor explains the options of how to sort files in Windows 7.

QUESTION How can I stop Windows 7 filing new files alphabetically? XP showed new imports at the top of the list, enabling me to quickly and easily find them for sorting. I'm now finding myself losing all sorts of things because I can't remember their file names. gftreeton

HELPROOM ANSWER Windows 7 offers more sophisticated ways of displaying your files than Windows XP, but the way you select them is slightly different.

In XP, you would either right-click in an Explorer window or go to its View menu and select ‘Arrange Icons by', then choose Name, Size, Type or Modified. The latter option gave the arrangement you describe.

In Windows 7, you can right-click in an Explorer window and choose ‘Sort by'. The existing view options remain, along with two more: ascending and descending order.

The File, Edit, View is also available in Windows 7, but it's hidden by default. Press the left Alt key to display it.

Windows 7 also adds a new option called ‘Group by'. You can group files together according to how long ago they were accessed. You can also combine ‘Sort by' and ‘Group by'. For example, you could group your files by age, and within each group sort them alphabetically.

See all How to articles. Get free tech support in the Helproom Forum.

Visit Windows 7 Advisor for more Windows advice.

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