Windows Explorer for Windows 7 -- How to stop automatically sorting my files

I have Windows 7.  Windows Explorer automatically sorts my files in each folder.  I have it set to 'Sort by...Name', so for now it's sorting alphabetically, but regardless of what I have it set to 'Sort' by, it does it automatically.  But I want to be able to move files around in the folder in different orders, and then once I'm satisfied with the order, then I can change each file's name, and then choose to sort them alphabetically or otherwise.

For example, this is useful for a folder full of photos.  Let's say I have a folder with 50 photos in it from a vacation, and I want to re-order those photos, but I want to play around visually with different orders until I decide on the order I like most.  So I want to move each file/photo around until I like the order.  To do that, I would open that particular folder in Windows Explorer, then select the "Large Icons" View, and then move the photos around until I like the order.  And then once I have the photos in the order I want, then I would want rename each photo (1, 2, 3, etc.) and then tell Windows Explorer to "Sort by...Name".  That's how it used to be on my old computer, but I had XP, and now I have Windows 7, but I can't imagine that Windows 7 wouldn't let me do the same thing.  But the way it's working for me right now, Windows Explorer just automatically orders/sorts my files according to the "Sort by" option I have chosen.  So if I change a files name (say from "Photo #25" to "Photo #10"), it automatically puts that photo between "Photo #09" and "Photo #11".  And if I try to move that "Photo #10" next to say "Photo #37" to see how they look next to each other, it won't let me.

Sooo.... Is there a way to have Windows Explorer 'NOT' sort my files at all, until I tell it to?

Thanks much!
theokapi 
 

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Last updated April 30, 2019 Views 41,846 Applies to:
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Answer

Not possible in Windows 7 and Vista. XP was the last OS where Explorer didn't forcibly auto sort all files in List and Details views.


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Theokapi,

Thank you for your question. Please see Working with files and folders for details on working with files and arrangement. However the change in Windows 7 that you described (manually arranging files within folders) is by design. If this is something you would like to have changed, please feel free to leave your suggestion with Windows 7 Feedback.  

Thanks for visiting the Microsoft Answers Community.


Lisa
Microsoft Answers Support Engineer
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