ivan099
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ivan099 asked on
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How to manually arrange folders in windows 7__

When i try manually move one folder to be the first i can t whay
RyanT - Support Engineer
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RyanT - Support Engineer replied on
Hello ivan099, welcome.

You can manually arrange desktop icons, however, any other icons within folders are auto-arranged and cannot be altered by direct access. You can arrange them in a multitude of different ways by right clicking open space (within a folder) and selecting Sort By > More...

A problem was discovered in Windows XP when users would accidentally manually arrange folders and icons and, in turn, they would overlap eachother. For simplicity's sake and for performance reasons, this feature was removed.

There are a number of 3rd-party programs that exist that allow you to do this, however, they would of course not be supported by Microsoft.

I would search the internet for 'File Manager', 'Alternate Shell', or something of the like. You may find some support forums that have users that specialize in just the exact thing you are looking for.

Hope this helps,

Thanks!
Ryan Thieman
Microsoft Answers Support Engineer
Visit our Microsoft Answers Feedback Forum and let us know what you think.
Jill Jeffers
Found this helpful 22
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Jill Jeffers replied on

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Dear Ryan,

Actually, no, this wasn't at all helpful. Let me get this straight ... Rather than engineer a fix so that icons could not be placed on top of each other, Microsoft decided to just do away with allowing users to customize their Windows experience? Microsoft might want to check out all of the very unhappy chatter on the web about this decision and come up with a patch for it pronto. This kind of lazy thinking approach to a resolving a problem is not at all what one expects from Microsoft. I'm amazed that this decision made it past the first engineering meeting. 

RyanT - Support Engineer
Found this helpful 3
Answer
RyanT - Support Engineer replied on
Hello ivan099, welcome.

You can manually arrange desktop icons, however, any other icons within folders are auto-arranged and cannot be altered by direct access. You can arrange them in a multitude of different ways by right clicking open space (within a folder) and selecting Sort By > More...

A problem was discovered in Windows XP when users would accidentally manually arrange folders and icons and, in turn, they would overlap eachother. For simplicity's sake and for performance reasons, this feature was removed.

There are a number of 3rd-party programs that exist that allow you to do this, however, they would of course not be supported by Microsoft.

I would search the internet for 'File Manager', 'Alternate Shell', or something of the like. You may find some support forums that have users that specialize in just the exact thing you are looking for.

Hope this helps,

Thanks!
Ryan Thieman
Microsoft Answers Support Engineer
Visit our Microsoft Answers Feedback Forum and let us know what you think.
D. Moses
Found this helpful 2
D. Moses replied on
I got around it by assigning a number to each of the files in the order that I wanted them to appear in the folder.  For example, the first one has a number 1 in front of the name, the second, number 2, and so on.  It is a pain to rename all of the files, but it works to put them in the order you want.  Hope this helps. 
Gordon James
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Gordon James replied on

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Thanks for a clear answer Ryan.  Unfortunately for me this was an important feature and I am very disappointed to see it go.  I routinely used manual arrangement to organize files within folders on my desktop across two axis at the same time, such as columns for various career paths, with increasing rank arranged vertically within each column, and blank columns between them.  Another example was columns for various certifications, arranged vertically within each column based on level.  I also used this feature for groupings such as 'active' vs. 'passive' within a given project folder on my Desktop.

In short, while I don't necessarily see a need for this across all folders throughout the system, to the extent this was being used to provide a hierarchy of mini-desktops from my main desktop, this is a feature I would very much like to see restored in Windows 7.  Presently, the level of disruption caused by the loss of this feature alone, compared to the relatively minor value-add over Vista (to me, after having already shelled out the money on resources to support Vista), is enough to make me hold off.

Thanks,
Gordon
LinuxIsBest
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LinuxIsBest replied on

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  I am having the same problem, and it is a very big problem for me.  For the past 7 years, I have arranged all of my digital photos in a certain way.  I would create a folder for the new year, and then inside it I would create new month folders that also had the year, just as I say the dates.  For example, inside the "2010" folder, I just created "January 2010", "February 2010", and "March 2010".

  The computer is too stupid to realize these are dates (which it should really be able to do), and thus it always wants to put them in the wrong order.  I want to have January at the top upper left, but always had to manually drag the folder there, and place them in the correct order.  Now it appears that Microsoft took away the ability for me to place them in the correct order.

  I am very, very disappointed with this decision to take away consumer control and choice - and it is the main reason why I didn't "upgrade" our other two computers after installing Windows 7 on this one.  Although I have only dabbled with Linux before now, I think I'm going to install Ubuntu or Linux Mint, and see if they have similar limitations on users, or if they allow more freedom for their users.
skeme kos
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skeme kos replied on

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im having the same problem and i think it was a pathetic idea for microsoft to remove this VERY important feature. it makes me kind of hate windows 7 now :(
please get this sorted microsoft.
Jill Jeffers
Found this helpful 22
Jill Jeffers replied on

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Dear Ryan,

Actually, no, this wasn't at all helpful. Let me get this straight ... Rather than engineer a fix so that icons could not be placed on top of each other, Microsoft decided to just do away with allowing users to customize their Windows experience? Microsoft might want to check out all of the very unhappy chatter on the web about this decision and come up with a patch for it pronto. This kind of lazy thinking approach to a resolving a problem is not at all what one expects from Microsoft. I'm amazed that this decision made it past the first engineering meeting. 

TrekDozer
Found this helpful 3
TrekDozer replied on

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Microsoft intentionally removed the option to disable Auto Arrange, but it's still possible with a workaround.   See the Auto Arrange links below in the "Guides" section.

Microsoft's answer for not being able to disable auto arrange:Can I manually arrange files within folders?

From Microsoft: Working with files and folders

 

Also, installing Classic Shell helps with many of Windows Explorers issues. See the links below.

 

 

 

Unfortunately when Microsoft redesigned Windows Explorer they made some pretty horrendous decisions - of which many people have complained about. There are many other file managers available, both free and for a price. One of them might be easier to use and have the features you want, here is a list of most that are available:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_file_managers

Classic Shell - Customize Windows Explorer with removed features (more helpful options and info below):
http://classicshell.sourceforge.net

Xplorer² Lite - single or dual pane file browser with tabs and many features:
http://www.zabkat.com/x2lite.htm

 

 

 

 

Guides on how to manually make changes to Windows Explorer

How to Fix The Left Pane Scroll Bug
       See the bottom of this post for help with the left pane scroll bug using Classic Shell.
       Click here to view one of several methods to reproduce it.
       Click here to vote for fixing the left pane scroll bug.


Note: The links below involve editing the registry - be careful!

Auto Arrange Option #1 - How to disable Auto Arrange in Windows 7

Auto Arrange Option #2 - How to disable Auto Arrange in Windows 7

Libraries Folder - How to Add or Remove the Libraries Folder from the Navigation Pane

Favorites Folder - Add or Remove the Favorites Folder from the Navigation Pane

User Folder - How to Add or Remove your User Folder from Windows 7 Navigation Pane

Homegroup - Add or Remove from Navigation Pane

Network - Add or Remove from Navigation Pane

Full Row Select - How to Disable Full Row Select (details view) in Windows Explorer

_________________________________________
Extra links - help guides for using Windows Explorer

Folder Options   Change View Settings   Using Search   Change User Folder Icon   Associate File Type   Share Folders - XP & Win7   Add/Remove Columns   Add Folder To Library

 

 

 

 

Most important features to fix or return to Windows Explorer:

1) The option to disable Auto Arrange.

2) Fix The Left Pane Scroll Bug: If you are viewing a folder and expand it in the left pane to show it's subfolders, the folder is annoyingly auto-scrolled to the bottom of the pane causing the subfolders to not be shown, making it difficult to work with. Double clicking a folder in the left pane can also cause this problem.  Vote to fix it.

3) When multiple files are selected they should stay selected when changing the sorting order (ex: Name to Size). Maintaining selected files when sorting should be a requirement and this feature should not have been removed.

4) The option to remember each folder's view settings (remembering individual folder window sizes and positions).

5) The option to remove "Full row selection" for details view. "Full row selection" is very annoying when the folder is full and has no empty space to click on. Also, when dragging/dropping files to a different folder - if you release the file on the row of a subfolder or .exe/.zip/.rar file "full row selection" causes the file to be moved into the subfolder or .exe/.zip/.rar file rather the the intended folder.

6) A search window with all the advanced search options. No syntax required.

7) The option to always show free disk space and folder size in the status bar and/or details pane. Also always automatically show the size of selected files (when many files are selected it will not show the total size).

8) The option to scroll the pane your mouse is in with mouse wheel even if that pane is not selected.

 

 


 

Let Microsoft know you want Windows Explorers features returned:

Since many people seem to agree that some or all the changes made to Windows Explorer have actually made it less user friendly, you can go to the Windows 7 Feedback page and (politely) let them know your suggestions for improving it:

http://mymfe.microsoft.com/Windows%207/Feedback.aspx?formID=195

Note: don't make the message too long, there is a size limit to your message even though the page doesn't tell you about it. Also, don't just copy and paste from the list above - they will think the same person is repeatedly submitting feedback.

 

 

 

 

Left pane scroll bug (and other fixes):

Using Classic Shell To Restore Some Features To Windows Explorer

After installing the free Classic Shell you can customize Windows Explorer closer to how you want it, the quote below is just one way to do so. Click here to see some of the options you can customize, and here is the FAQ page for Classic Shell.

A solution which did work for restoring some features.

1) Install the free Classic Shell.  This is very customizable, and works as a mod for Windows Explorer rather than a full blown replacement. You didn't need to install the Classic Start Menu option, but you can if you want.
2) Reboot the computer.
3) Launch Windows Explorer (Start - Computer) and turn on "Always Show Menus" (Organize - Layout - check Menu Bar). This is just for configuration, you can turn it off again afterwards if you want.
4) Right click on the menu bar and turn on the "Classic Explorer Bar". This adds a series of cut/copy/paste icons to Explorer. Crucially, it also adds the "Configuration" icon.
5) Go into the configuration and from here you can tweak things to your heart's content. To kill the horrible Windows 7 folder-jumping, switch the "Navigation Pane Style" to Vista. You can even knock it back to XP mode if you want (this adds in the lines to the folder tree and adds a classic "+" icon for expanding folders). The Windows Vista style folder view looks pretty much the same as the Windows 7 view, but gets rid of the horrible jumping.
6) Tweak any other settings you want.

After this, you can turn the toolbar and menus back off in Explorer if you wish. Windows Explorer looks largely the same, but folders no longer jump around. Vote for Microsoft to fix this bug.

Now, if only MS could code properly so that we don't have to mess with third party apps to get Windows to actually work properly...

 

 

MCC 2011

TrekDozer

Sharing bits of knowledge.
Jill Jeffers
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Jill Jeffers replied on

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I just discovered that, in addition to not allowing users to manually position icons in folders, the taskbar won't allow you to put anything on it that isn't a program! What's up with that? This is so crazy that Microsoft has decided to reduce all of the user customization on Windows 7. I'm adjusting to Windows 7, but you can bet I'll be checking out Chrome OS when it's released. Yikes!

Konst-33
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Konst-33 replied on

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the taskbar won't allow you to put anything on it that isn't a program!

That's not quite right. You also can:

JD2481
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JD2481 replied on

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The site Konst-33 linked to also has this set of instructions:

http://www.unawave.de/windows-7-tipps/disable-sorting-auto-arrange.html?lang=EN

HOWEVER, this involves registry editing and playing around with entries using only their GUIDs (read this may void your warranty be a Very Bad Thing and could corrupt all your data or at least make it inaccessible; but your computer probably won't catch fire).  If you must try it, backup all your important data first, set a restore point, and backup your registry - if you don't know what that means or how to find the instructions on how to do it and accept the risks; don't try the above.

I hope this helps the people crazy (or smart) enough to experiment; but you've been warned it might not be a good idea.

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