none
Turn off Auto Arrange?

    General discussion

  • On XP I used to be able to place my files where ever I wanted  in explorer. On Windows 7 to my dismay I can't move files ore folder where I want them. Is there a way to turn this off? When tranferring a bunch of files to removable storage there may be files that I may not want to transfer and I can't simply move them out of the way like used to on XP.
    Wednesday, August 05, 2009 11:19 PM

All replies

  • Sure. Right-click on your desktop, click View, and then deselect Auto arrange icons.
    Dave Bishop
    Senior Technical Writer
    Windows Server Networking User Assistance
    Thursday, August 06, 2009 9:29 PM
  • Sure. Right-click on your desktop, click View, and then deselect Auto arrange icons.
    Dave Bishop
    Senior Technical Writer
    Windows Server Networking User Assistance
    I'm not talking about on the desktop but while view files in a folder. I can't position them where I want them. If I'm looking in My Pictures for instance I can't position the pictures where I want them.
    Thursday, August 06, 2009 10:15 PM
  • I see what you mean.  There appear to be hundreds of various details you can enable for the details view.  you can sort on any of them, instead of the filename.
    Thursday, August 06, 2009 10:30 PM
  • I see what you mean.  There appear to be hundreds of various details you can enable for the details view.  you can sort on any of them, instead of the filename.
    I guess I'm still not clear maybe I'm not good at explaining this. When I open a folder I want to be able to place files or arrange them where I want them. If I want to place some files in the lower right hand corner of the folder and a few in the center or space the files or line them up diagonally or place them randomly where I want I should be able to.
    Thursday, August 06, 2009 11:31 PM
  • No, you were clear.  I guess I was not.

    Even though you have to accept auto arrange, you can chose any detail for the sort key.

    So you could add your own "Comments" and chose them such that when sorted on the "Comments" field, they are in the order you want.

    Just how you could do this I do not know.  In XP, it's clear enough, but then in XP or Vista you could turn off auto arrange.
    • Edited by Brian Borg Friday, August 07, 2009 12:25 AM
    Thursday, August 06, 2009 11:43 PM
  • You need to change the view type.
    If the view type is on list or details you won't be able to disable auto-arrange.
    You need to change the view type, to icon, then disable auto-arrange, and then you can go back to list or detail and the autoarrange will be turned off.
    Friday, August 28, 2009 2:38 AM
  • Ok, I guess I'm an idiot - when the folder is in one of the icon views (say medium icons), how do I disable auto-arrange?  It's not an option under "Sort by" and I can't find it anywhere else.
    Ralph Bley
    Friday, August 28, 2009 2:07 PM
  • Bad news everbody. The option to manually arrange icons in explorer has bean removed in windows 7. Auto arrange cannot be disabled. Only on the desktop. For this you would not be an idiot but whoever decided to remove this feature no doubt would be.
    Saturday, August 29, 2009 5:21 AM
  • Hi All,

    This is one of the featurea I came to this forum to handle - thanks for trying to answer it.  However - surely to goodness Microsoft is going to address this issue and FIX IT.  Can anyone tell me where I can report it to the team who looks after such things?

    Thanks

    Nan
    Thursday, September 03, 2009 5:22 AM
  • For what it's worth, I think I have determined where the setting "Remember each folders view state" is in the Registry in Vista.

    It is called "ClassicViewState" and the default is reg_dword:00000000.  To set it you could use a .reg file like this:

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced]
    "ClassicViewState"=dword:00000001
    
    

    I have a roaming profile and I can see what changes when I set it in Vista. 
    Thursday, September 03, 2009 9:12 PM
  • I tried this but I recall you mentioning this key in another topic having to do with folder size and position. Anyway, I added it and the option in the right click menu is still not there. If you were looking for this menu option if it existed you would find it in one of the .mui files, probably shell32.dll.mui.
    Thursday, September 03, 2009 9:29 PM
  • I tried this but I recall you mentioning this key in another topic having to do with folder size and position. Anyway, I added it and the option in the right click menu is still not there. If you were looking for this menu option if it existed you would find it in one of the .mui files, probably shell32.dll.mui.
    Thank you for the response, Mr. 7.

    Just because it isn't in the menu doesn't mean it has no effect.

    I have not determined if there is an effect in Windows 7 yet.  It could be none.  But I think it does have an effect, and the effect is unpredictable.

    I like to have it set to not remember each folder in Vista ("ClassicViewState"=dword:00000000).  This way I can set a certain sort order, such as by date, while I am browsing to keep it sorting by that order.

    It doesn't work that way in Windows 7.  It forgets the sort order, even for that folder, as soon as I leave the folder.  Not only that, it forgets my "default" view state, with the columns I want in the order I want.

    Unless that is all part of the Windows 7 experience.
    Thursday, September 03, 2009 9:49 PM
  • So if this key works will I be able to place icons anywhere in an open folder without them being auto aranged by some criteria? What about deselecting "align to grid" - that's also gone.

    It works on the desktop "Auto arrange icons" and underneath "Align icons to grid" - but not in in explorer.


    Thursday, September 03, 2009 9:59 PM
  • The reg key hack doesn't work, too bad!  This is one thing that Microsoft does over and over and never learns.  For some MS thinking for them is great but they should never try to second gues what I want unless I wish that.  In other words why get rid of allowing me to control my environment, yet they still give me control on the Desktop, that is consistancy for you.  At least they made it easier to turn off AUC which is a total joke.  Now they need to address the crazy did your program install correctly, who would know until they try running it plus even if it didn't install OK MS can't change that even if you select them to do so.  What a joke!

    I like Windows 7 they are going in the right direction with these kinds of exceptions where they are going backwards, nothing new of course.
    Monday, October 05, 2009 9:32 PM
  • I have dual boot with XP and Win7.  Since I need this feature (auto arrange off) I am not using Win7 much and considering removing it from my machine.  Why is it with each new operating system from MS I am able to do less not more.  Fortunately when I return to XP the files are where I placed them.
    Friday, December 18, 2009 12:31 PM
  • I have dual boot with XP and Win7.  Since I need this feature (auto arrange off) I am not using Win7 much and considering removing it from my machine.  Why is it with each new operating system from MS I am able to do less not more.  Fortunately when I return to XP the files are where I placed them.

    I am in exactly the same boat.  {sigh} and I had such high hopes for Win7.  So glad I didn't burn my XP bridge behind me.
    Friday, December 18, 2009 5:16 PM
  • I can't believe every review of Win7 I read had no mention of Permanent Auto Arrange.  Do people really not organize any of their icons manually any more?
    Wednesday, December 23, 2009 7:09 PM
  • I think before too long, MS is going to see that this is going to become the Achilies heel of Windows 7.   The underlying feeling is that the feature to turn off auto-arrange was causing Windows 7 to crash.  If that infact is the case, then there might be a problem with the kernel ( although i thought it was similar to Vista ).

    In either case, they are going to start losing money, if this feature is not re-installed.  The word gets around pretty quick now adays, a googling this problem will give you tons of unhappy people.

    Better wake up MS, before people stop buying your products all together!
    Thursday, December 24, 2009 12:24 AM
  • Unfortunately, the items view in Windows 7 doesn't support custom positioning or other things like hyperlinks that were available in Vista.

    The old list view is still available in Windows 7, but only for third-party applications use: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd378351(VS.85).aspx

    <copy>

    When to Use

    By default, the Windows 7 item view does not support custom positioning, custom ordering, or hyperlinks, which were supported in the Windows Vista list view. Use this interface when you require those features of the older view. If, at some later time, the item view adds support for those features, these options will automatically use the newer view rather than continuing to revert to the older view as they currently do.

    </copy>

    I hope Microsoft includes support for at least custom positioning in Windows 7 SP1.


    Microsoft MVP Windows Desktop Experience
    Thursday, December 24, 2009 12:53 AM
    Answerer
  • Looks like another case of MS trying to make Windows easier for the dumba*s newbs of the world and screwing over the experienced users in the process. I NEED to be able to turn off auto arrange. If I can't do it in 7 soon, I'll be going back to XP... or Linux.
    Tuesday, January 12, 2010 10:21 PM
  • Yes, removing arrange icons option, microsoft is trying to make users full as sheople,

    Auto bla bla bla and klick`n`click`n`click technology preventing me and at least thousand around me from using w7, the only thing I can help to people here to avoid some w7 issues:

    install classic shell - usable aero start menu, up button added, copy/move dialog fixed, status bar fixed.(it`s not a program, just config patch)
    Q-Dir file manager, very friendly and fast, it allow to drag and move folders and icons around, but during session only. (even this is better, than auto-arrange)
    Wednesday, January 13, 2010 12:40 PM
  • Classic Shell is freeware from SourceForge.  I have used it and it works in Server 2008 R2.  You have to enable third party browser extensions in Internet Explorer.

    I have not used Q-Dir.
    Wednesday, January 13, 2010 6:38 PM
  • No one hear as, I`ve erased this pale of ____ seven, I`m stuffed with w7 and installed xp, probably the last xp os from microsoft, suppose xp will be popular very very long.
    Saturday, January 16, 2010 8:15 PM
  • I`ve meant a piece of c_r_a_p...
    Saturday, January 16, 2010 8:16 PM
  • You CAN'T disable the Auto Arrange feature in Windows 7 Explorer. Windows 7 Explorer uses a new control for displaying the data.

    Windows Explorer in Windows 7 uses a new custom list view control that doesn't support custom ordering like the old one did. So in folder views you can no longer drag items around to rearrange them. Basically, pretty much nobody used this (except on the desktop, where it is still supported), and re-implementing it in the new virtualized list view wasn't worth the cost.

    Source:

    http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?act=findpost&hl=&pid=591458464

    Brandon works in the WIndows Explorer Team and so he knows what he is talking about.
    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code" CLIP- Stellvertreter http://www.winvistaside.de/
    Sunday, January 17, 2010 1:21 AM
  • No one use? But around million people have visited only this thread. Interesting what you`ll say to a wife or friend if he/she  rearrange your personal thing every several second in the house for example ??? :) Today, computer is a part of this big picture and graphical interface means I can move and drag objects/files around virtual space as I want, so who decided it`s fault. And we all just ask for an option to turn this amazing/standard feature back, nothing else. If one doesn`t uses it OK, but at least many millions use it.
    Sunday, January 17, 2010 1:19 PM
  • It is not my statement! this is the statement of an MS employee working an the Explorer Team.

    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code" CLIP- Stellvertreter http://www.winvistaside.de/
    Sunday, January 17, 2010 1:48 PM
  • Explorer Team

    Please give us their names and telephones, i have to talk, to hardtalk.
    Monday, January 25, 2010 5:05 PM
  • This is awful.  I use dozens of folders arranged to accomodate different tasks: C programming, database work, PHP/Web site.  It's a huge problem not having this feature.
    Sunday, January 31, 2010 2:59 AM
  • Atlast, you can disable auto-arrange with a registry "hack", but beware of other UI changes that might occur after running the hack. More information with screenshots @The Winhelponline Blog

    How to Disable Full Row Select in Explorer in Windows 7?
    http://www.winhelponline.com/blog/disable-full-row-select-explorer-windows-7/

    (See the last screenshot)
    Ramesh Srinivasan, Microsoft MVP [Windows Desktop Experience]
    Monday, February 22, 2010 11:04 AM
    Answerer
  • You CAN'T disable the Auto Arrange feature in Windows 7 Explorer. Windows 7 Explorer uses a new control for displaying the data

    Source:

    http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?act=findpost&hl=&pid=591458464

    Brandon works in the WIndows Explorer Team and so he knows what he is talking about.
    I find it disturbing that someone who works on the OS would ask " Why do you want to arrange them differently"

    Sometimes you get comments like these that come out of a company that tell you the thinking within. "Why do you, the user of our product want to use it the way you want?" One of the things that has kept me using Windows for many years has been the ability to customize.

    There was a post on here a while ago from an Apple fanboi who was raging against of all things "device manager" being in 2 different places. It gave me a great laugh and made me think how different the thinking has been between the two companies. Apple=do it our way and you're cool. MS=It's cool if you do it your way. Now I look at some of the changes in Win7 and it's clear that inside MS the thinking is now like Brandon... it's no longer cool with MS if the user wants to do it their way.
    Monday, February 22, 2010 9:00 PM
  • I don`t know the name of the guy, who made the registry fix, I just want to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, AWESOME, GREAT JOB, THANKS!!!

    Also great THANKS to Classic Shell team for awesome (native) up button and error free start menu and copy/move dialog  in version 1 !!!

    Thanks to guy, who made fix to disable libraries!!!

    I have prepared many other registry fixes and now I`m combining all them into one exe file, I`ll name it Seven Human Friendly patch. :)

    Daniel


    PS. What Lisa and moderators can say now? by design :)


    Problem almost solved
    Monday, March 01, 2010 3:11 PM
  • I don`t know the name of the guy, who made the registry fix, I just want to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, AWESOME, GREAT JOB, THANKS!!!


    You're welcome, Daniel.
    And BTW, I was the one who made that registry fix :)
    Ramesh Srinivasan, Microsoft MVP [Windows Desktop Experience]
    Tuesday, March 02, 2010 3:04 AM
    Answerer
  • THANK YOU !!!
    Tuesday, March 02, 2010 3:35 PM
  • My 'concern' isn't so much with the Auto-Arrange function, but with the INSTANT auto-arrange... For example, I have a main "Artists" folder which contains over 2500 subfolders; the latter named as the artists (ABBA, Accept, AC/DC, Aerosmith, and so on).

    Now, in XP, when I had pictures of new artists, let's say four of them, I was able to add four 'new' folders and one by one rename them to the new artist's name. The folders stayed neatly at the back of the 2500-plus list, making it easy to drag the respective artist's pics from my pictures folder to the newly added folders. The added folders in the "Artists" main folder stayed at the back until you either entered and left a subfolder, or you rightclicked an empty space and hit 'sort by name'.

    However, in Windows7, the minute you add a 'New Folder', it stays at the back of the list for half a second, and then is immediately zapped under the letter 'N' (because of the instant auto-arranging) and when you have scrolled to the 'N', and have filled-out the name you want that foder to have (say, Amy Winehouse), it is then again zapped to the letter "A"... This is highly annoying, as now, when I've got artists to add, I have to do it one by one and sort through 2500-plus folder to get to the one I want to put the pictures in...

    The same goes for renaming files. Once a file is renamed (let's say by adding a number in front of the name), it automatically is transported to its regular place in the list, which often means that when you click the second file in the row, that file has now become the third file, since the one you renamed was added to the top of the list.

    Like I said, I myself don't mind that much when stuff is auto-arranged, but please, not instantly, because this way I lose a lot of time scrolling through enormous lists in search of where Windows has zapped my added folder/file...

    Another annoying thing is that selected files don't stay selected after you've worked on them. When I re-rip a CD of mine to a lower bitrate (I rip CDs for use on my PC to 320kb CBR, and re-rip them to 192kb CBR with dBPoweramp for use on my mp3 player) Under XP I selected all the songs and let dBpoweramp loose on the files. After all the files were converted to a lower bitrate, the files were still all selected and I simply had to rightclick on them to chage the properties. Now, under Win7, the files are one by one deselected as their converted form is re-added to the list... not so annoying, but still a silly inconvenience which has my having to reselect everything again...

    So, as far as this instant auto-arranging is concerned, I was wondering if there's a way around it, or if the programmers chez Microsoft are going to do something about it, because the way things are now, I've switched my hard drives to a computer which still has XP running. Under Win7, I go nuts when trying to sort all my pictures...

     

    JJ

    Friday, April 09, 2010 8:09 AM
  • Yes, I've had the same annoying problem when dealing with thumbnail pictures.  In windows XP, I could open up a folder in windows explorer and view my pictures in thumbnail view.  I could then drag and drop then in any order I liked, and they would stay in that order.  Then I was able to rename them in the newly arranged order that I had created, saving hours of manual work.

    Now, when in thumbnail view, if I drag a picture, as soon as I 'drop' it by letting go of the mouse button, it just jumps right back to its alphabetically sorted place.  There is no way to make it stay where I dropped it.  This is INCREDIBLY annoying!!!!

    I also found it handy when downloading several files, if I had the folder open in XP, the files would just appear, one by one, in the order that they were downloaded.  Now in Win 7, as each file is downloaded into the folder, it auto-sorts them as they arrive, so I can't exactly tell which files came in most recently. Sure, I could sort by date modified, but that does not always work.

    In their effort to make Win 7 easier for the laymen user, they have ruined a great windows experience for the expert user. At lease give us the option to turn it on or off, not just completely disable it!  I really hope this 'feature' is customizable in a future update.

     

    -rattlhed

    Thursday, April 29, 2010 2:47 AM
  • Atlast, you can disable auto-arrange with a registry "hack", but beware of other UI changes that might occur after running the hack. More information with screenshots @The Winhelponline Blog

    How to Disable Full Row Select in Explorer in Windows 7?
    http://www.winhelponline.com/blog/disable-full-row-select-explorer-windows-7/

    (See the last screenshot)
    Ramesh Srinivasan, Microsoft MVP [Windows Desktop Experience]

     

    Thank you Ramesh, very helpful.

     

     


    Wednesday, May 12, 2010 12:00 PM
  • Well Service Pack 1 Release Candidate is out and I don't see this blocking problem fixed in it. Working with files is impossible without auto sort and auto arrange turned off. I have formatted and gone back to Windows XP SP3. No problem with that OS.

    Microsoft can't take any action or notice but I definitely can.
    Thursday, October 28, 2010 8:24 AM
  • Explorer Team

    Please give us their names and telephones, i have to talk, to hardtalk.
    Microsoft must learn lots of things from xp. I have many file and my only way to control them is to do it my way; I open explorer full screen and place folders and files up-down-right-left-middle (and other places will take long to write). I find folders at the place I put them, but in win7 I have to search!? This is an incredibly hard to use system, as specially for power users to take control over GB of files. Hacking os mustn't be the only way to use it. It seems vista transformation package team do a better job than microsoft. I'm afraid this problems may be a preventive solution for MS to avoid win7 to become another xp like os, and sale one product family over years and block new systems sales. What if the xp is the main obstacle for sales of vista and win7.
    Tuesday, December 07, 2010 10:30 AM
  • Well Service Pack 1 Release Candidate is out and I don't see this blocking problem fixed in it. Working with files is impossible without auto sort and auto arrange turned off. I have formatted and gone back to Windows XP SP3. No problem with that OS.

    Microsoft can't take any action or notice but I definitely can.

    I'm happy to hear you are now using XP and have found managing files easier. I truly believe you have made the right move and will enjoy greater productivity. Congratulations!
    Wednesday, December 08, 2010 12:14 AM
  • I am about to do the same since this has been an issue for over a year now and it does not apear to be in the Service pack.

    Talk about shooting yourself in the foot Microsoft. If you are not careful this could seriously be the end of you since nobody wants to adopt your Vista and your 7 once they figure out how limited they are.

    You could have left this one feature in and i would have been happy with 7.

    I can take everything else you have thrown at me including a brand new GUI (for an XP user), 46 control panel icons to deal with, a new and weird start menu and all the rest i have not seen yet since i have only been using 7 for less than 48 hours now but you had to go and FORCE thing on us.

    No. Not an option but mandatory changes so drastic to people that once they go back to XP they might never again buy another version of M$.

    Somebody said something about the archillies heel factor earlier in this thread and i am  starting to think the same. The way the foldrs and files are displayed must be so hard-coded into the OS that it would take a near re-write of the entire OS code to get this to work so they are trying to minimize our concerns and saying that our way is the old way.

    Bollocks. Try renaming hundred of files when they go zipping back and forth accross your magical folder view thereby causing much MUCH more work then before.

    I have shortcuts on my XP desktop that point to the documents folder. Inside that folder i ahve my movie folder, my music folder ect... Inside each one of those folders i ahve more folders with various albums and movies...............screw this.....i am done they dont listen

    Dont buy windows 7 is my advice and go back to trusty XP which WILL live on for many years and make an embarressment out of TWO OS' that were meant to replace it.

     

    LONG LIVE XP...off to dual boot or remove 7 altogether if it gives me any lip when i try to dual boot.

    Wednesday, January 05, 2011 12:21 AM
  • The instant auto arranging in explorer windows is so stupid. Every time I rename a file it skips away like it's gone nuts. And when I paste several files into a crowded folder they get lost into the bunch of files. Does this feel comfortable for the windows 7 team guys? Or do the windows 7 team not use window 7? Have they ever tryed googling "windows 7 auto arrange"??

    Wednesday, January 05, 2011 2:35 AM
  • I passed Vista by having used its Explorer for a week and I reverted to XP. I have just bought two new 64bit ACER net-tops which came with Win7 installed. I turned all the flashy cpu hungry 'light show' features off only to find Explorer remains unusable (whoever thought of mandatory auto arrange needs a serious talking to - or firing) if one needs to manage more than a dozen files in a single Explorer folder I really feel your pain. Auto refresh kills my CPU and my newly renamed file vanishes off screen once I hit enter.....an activity that took minutes in XP now consumes ten's of minutes in Win7 - my life is already too short so why do the team as MS feel the need to fill it with needless extra work? I am now seriously considering using Linux as XP is no longer a valid option for me. At least Linux is free - feel the pain once and hopefully live a better life for longer.
    Tuesday, January 25, 2011 12:17 AM
  • install Vista ;) It has everything you want (ClassicStartmenu, no autoarrange and it's more stable and faster compared to XP).

    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code" CLIP- Stellvertreter http://www.winvistaside.de/
    Tuesday, January 25, 2011 3:44 PM
  • This feature is horrible. I'd love MS to fix this properly so I can turn auto-arrange off!
    Sunday, February 27, 2011 4:37 PM
  • Looks like this been an issue since 2009. Are we just talking to the wall here, as no fix has even been hinted at for Windows 7 so that I can move a picture file and have it stay in the order I've moved it within a window!
    Friday, March 04, 2011 10:04 PM
  • try this workaround:

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


    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code"

    Want to install RSAT on Windows 7 Sp1? Check my HowTo: http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=150221
    Friday, March 04, 2011 10:09 PM
  • Andre.Ziegler : it doesn't work with list view.

     

    And there is also the workaround suggested by someone to make your folder or even your drive a networked shared drive and access it like that. BUt this solutions are not good enough.

    Hopefully Microsoft will make a fix in  the end.

    Sunday, May 22, 2011 2:07 AM
  • You are very clear.They are in denial about being insulting morons.They think everyone should do things their way so they rob us of our control over our own items.You have been very clear from the begining.The drag and drop feature is something they needed to get rid of so they could pat themselves on the back and tell the world how much they improve things.I personally liked XP where I didn't have to constantly go online to fix these peoples screw ups.
    Tuesday, July 19, 2011 10:25 PM
  • This has been a problem since 2006 when Vista debuted and if they wanted to fix it, they would have fixed it then in SP1 or in a hotfix or in Windows 7. So many people are not happy about it, it's not believable that MS hasn't had the time or priority to fix this. They refuse to, hence I refuse to upgrade to anything past XP where this problem isn't there. There are two problems basically:
    - Compulsory Auto Arrange in large icon, medium icon and such icon views which only Windows 7 suffers from- Vista does not.
    - Compulsory Auto Sort in list view, details view where Explorer forces a refresh immediately when any file operation is performed. Sorting behaves as a permanent state instead of a one-time verb so items are always kept sorted instead of sorting ONLY when the user wants presses Refresh.

    Neither problem is fixed by the shell team.


    Anonymuos
    Monday, August 22, 2011 7:17 AM
    • Edited by xpclient Thursday, May 10, 2012 12:02 PM
    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 7:53 AM
  • You may want to try Q-Dir. It's a file explorer like Windows Explorer and it lets you arrange thumbnails.

    http://www.softwareok.com/?seite=Freeware/Q-Dir

    Saturday, December 10, 2011 1:27 PM
  • Hello everyone, Today I wanted to move some pictures around in a folder and realized that windows 7 wouldn't allow me to, that did bother me a bit :\ so I made it today's project to figure out. Ive been reading alot in that last couple hours and realized this is actually a big problem to alot of people. That just made me even more determined to find out what is causing this, I tried several methods from many forums and nothing worked. I checked all over windows 7 to find a option or setting and didn't see anything. Just when I was thinking about giving up I was checking some pictures I had in a folder that I use to on the go (Flash Drive) and saw that I had a setting to turn off the auto-arrange. That's when I realize that in order to turn off the auto arrange or to get the option to atleast it to move the folder that contains all your pictures that you would like to have the auto-arrange off onto any flash-drive. Then just simply remove it back onto desktop or anywhere on your computer and bam that folder now has auto-arrange option. It's so shocking to me that how does just moving a folder on and off a flash drive could do this? Some things I thought of was maybe the option isn't on windows 7 because of how win 7 creates folders, since it creates the folder without the option. But the flashdrive on the other hand has a different method on how it creates a folder and uses the same format as win xp maybe or just simply includes the option when it creates the folder. Then moving the folder onto win 7 the folder keeps that setting as how the flashdrive created it. So it seems that the only difference is how the two create folders, so in theory you could make a folder on the flashdrive then move it to windows 7, move all your files/pictures into that folder and you would have the auto-arrange option. That's my thought on it, hope this works for everyone else. Let me know if this simple method works or not.
    Wednesday, January 04, 2012 9:41 PM
  • Could you please tell me how do I just comment on this forum without having to click "reply" under someone's post? Because frankly the problem with not being able to rearrange my pictures how I want to is PISSING ME OFF!! I am not an advanced computer user and all these programs and extensive, detailed steps on trying to turn this "auto arrange" off is not working for me. I can't find anywhere to report this problem to MS, and even if they do fix it with windows 8, do they expect us to PAY to get a feature back that they took off?!? Windows 7 was installed on this computer when I bought it, I had no choice, but even if I did, the reviews did not contain anything about not being able to move/rearrange items/folders/pictures where you want them to be.  

    MmM

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012 6:22 AM
  • Hello everyone, Today I wanted to move some pictures around in a folder and realized that windows 7 wouldn't allow me to, that did bother me a bit :\ so I made it today's project to figure out. Ive been reading alot in that last couple hours and realized this is actually a big problem to alot of people. That just made me even more determined to find out what is causing this, I tried several methods from many forums and nothing worked. I checked all over windows 7 to find a option or setting and didn't see anything. Just when I was thinking about giving up I was checking some pictures I had in a folder that I use to on the go (Flash Drive) and saw that I had a setting to turn off the auto-arrange. That's when I realize that in order to turn off the auto arrange or to get the option to atleast it to move the folder that contains all your pictures that you would like to have the auto-arrange off onto any flash-drive. Then just simply remove it back onto desktop or anywhere on your computer and bam that folder now has auto-arrange option. It's so shocking to me that how does just moving a folder on and off a flash drive could do this? Some things I thought of was maybe the option isn't on windows 7 because of how win 7 creates folders, since it creates the folder without the option. But the flashdrive on the other hand has a different method on how it creates a folder and uses the same format as win xp maybe or just simply includes the option when it creates the folder. Then moving the folder onto win 7 the folder keeps that setting as how the flashdrive created it. So it seems that the only difference is how the two create folders, so in theory you could make a folder on the flashdrive then move it to windows 7, move all your files/pictures into that folder and you would have the auto-arrange option. That's my thought on it, hope this works for everyone else. Let me know if this simple method works or not.
    This does not appear to work.  I dont have the auto arrange option on my flash drive.  What kind of flash drive?  How is it formatted?  Does this happen on all folders?  Can you create this on any newly created folder?
    Thursday, July 05, 2012 8:31 PM
  • Thanks you to chris.zaayenga abolutely brilliant!!! Thank you thank you thank you! :-)
    Wednesday, July 18, 2012 9:29 PM
  • It's now 2012, and I just found a working solution:

    Create a restore point and go here:

    http://notesofgenius.com/how-disable-auto-arrange-windows-7/

    I needed to restart and play with the folders but it basically worked.

    Good luck. This plagued me for a long time. I tried to research it and

    came away frustrated more than once.......

    Saturday, July 28, 2012 1:33 AM
  • It's stunning that someone "from Micrsoft" really said this?   "Sure.  Blah Blah...".

    The problem is that is the way it is "supposed to work".   It does NOT work this way.   That's why so many people complain about it... Even tech professionals with 30 years experience.   I admit that sometimes it has been preserved (manual icon layout), but it's not clear why, when "Auto arrange icons to grid" is UN-CHECKED (whether or not "Align icons to grid" is checked or not), it can STILL re-arrange them.  Should not be hard for Microsoft to Fix, Patch, or explain work-around.

    Wednesday, August 08, 2012 5:56 PM
  • This helped for me:
    http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/92758-windows-explorer-auto-arrange-disable.html

    Be aware that it resets desktop icons layout, so it is recommended that you save it first.
    • Edited by bozans Sunday, November 11, 2012 8:16 PM
    Sunday, November 11, 2012 7:59 PM
  • The reg hack:

    1.  It doesn't work for Libraries.
    2.  It doesn't work for List View or Details View.
    3.  It disables the enhanced Windows 7 ItemsView used by Explorer and brings back Vista's ugly ListView.
    4.  It only disable auto ARRANGE, not auto SORTING.

    So a hotfix is needed for Windows 7 and Windows 8.

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012 7:54 PM
  • RE: " "Basically, pretty much nobody used this ...and re-implementing it in the new virtualized list view wasn't worth the cost."- Brandon works in the WIndows Explorer Team and so he knows what he is talking about."

    Brandon needs to get out of the geek dungeon for a little while and observe how ordinary people use computers in the real world. He seems to be a prime example of how out of touch Microsoft can be.



    • Edited by houndedinkc Saturday, December 08, 2012 1:08 PM
    Saturday, December 08, 2012 1:05 PM
  • You can do it by downloading a batch file and running it the file is located at:

     http://www.unawave.de/medien/Windows-7/Sortieren/Free-sorting-for-Windows7.zip

    unzip the file and run.. and poof its done!

    It will add the auto arrange button to your VIEW menu selection just deselect it for each folder and you will be able to move your icons around, I do recommend checking the arrange to grid button as well makes it a little neater but its up to you

    It works by making some registry entries for you. You could manually do it but its MUCH easier this way.

    Why the hell Microsoft left this out is beyond me.. but its annoying as HELL!

    Friday, December 28, 2012 2:59 AM
  • Just thought I'd toss this out.  Found out completely by accident, that if you set your Windows Performance Options => Visual effects to "Adjust for Best Performance", one of the benefits is that it *stops* auto sort in a folder.  Of course there is a shortcoming in that you lose a lot of graphics eye candy (the old "gray" windows theme), but you also gain a good chunk of CPU in addition, because it no longer has to allocate a chunk to processing graphics.
    Saturday, January 12, 2013 4:33 AM
  • Doesn't Windows 7 do all of the graphics processing on the GPU, rather
    than the CPU, resulting in the Basic (legacy) themes actually consuming
    more CPU than the alternative?

    Sunday, January 13, 2013 5:42 AM
  • I have to agree with everybody else here.

    Custom arrange was such a useful feature, especially in Vista's explorer, where you could move files around even in the "Details" view.

    Besides this, file selection retention when navigating back and forward is also go. On XP/Vista, select files, navigate forward and then back, and those files are still selected.

    I hope Microsoft brings back these features.
    Friday, April 19, 2013 7:45 PM
  • Let me start off my saying THANK YOU, GOOD SIR! I just made the switch to windows a couple months ago so I wasn't savvy enough for any of the other solutions I found.

    However, after running the batch file only some of my folders have the auto arrange button in the view menu. Anyone know how to get it every folder?
    Tuesday, May 14, 2013 6:12 AM
  • We only just "upgraded" to Windows 7 this year.

    This auto arrange 'rammed down your throat' issue has now more than doubled my workload, because when you have to change file names from DSC_1234 to "Smith_Tommy_J", the icons all move and you cannot be sure of the file order vs. the shot list of names.

    Great, MS, just great. As if I didn't already have enough work to do without you making more for me.

    Jeeez...anyone got a good fast box out there running Windows 2000 that's never been connected to the Internet???

    Tuesday, September 10, 2013 3:16 PM
  • To hjohnson3: Awesome! Thank you, sir, it works! :)

    • Edited by RimCountry Tuesday, September 10, 2013 11:03 PM
    Tuesday, September 10, 2013 11:02 PM
  • To Paolox3:

    Windows NT... the most stable platform ever!

    But to the point, the batch file posted above by hjohnson3 actually fixes this issue! Just do as he says - download it, unzip it, run it and re-boot... total free positioning functionality is back!

    Here's the link:

    http://www.unawave.de/medien/Windows-7/Sortieren/Free-sorting-for-Windows7.zip

    Tuesday, September 10, 2013 11:06 PM
  • I only use List view and alas Unawave doesn't cover that.

    On XP, I have all my folders showing first and then files sorted by type after that. When I extract 10-20 zipped files each to a separate (new) folder, they will usually be added to the end of all the other files rather than auto arranged instantly. I can then extract a list of the contents (vst plugin dll names using a directory printer) and use that info quickly and efficiently. The next time I open the folder they will be auto-arranged and that's fine.

    Fortunately, I have effectively finished sorting 15,000 files whilst putting together a large database. But I have had to do it on XP, because of the auto-arrange issue with Win7.

    I left it until today to look for a solution and have spent 3 hours getting nowhere, but thanks to all anyway especially those that have spent days and weeks searching for this holy grail.

    I set up Win8 (Metro UI !!!) to run ClassicShell look for my mother, but she has been too ill to use it and I hate laptops so I have hardly used it. I shall see how the folders and auto-arrange work there and report back very soon.

    Saturday, September 14, 2013 9:05 PM
  • Win8 running with ClassicShell; same problem. Bummer.
    Sunday, September 15, 2013 10:40 AM
  • You can do it by downloading a batch file and running it the file is located at:

     http://www.unawave.de/medien/Windows-7/Sortieren/Free-sorting-for-Windows7.zip

    unzip the file and run.. and poof its done!

    It will add the auto arrange button to your VIEW menu selection just deselect it for each folder and you will be able to move your icons around, I do recommend checking the arrange to grid button as well makes it a little neater but its up to you

    It works by making some registry entries for you. You could manually do it but its MUCH easier this way.

    Why the hell Microsoft left this out is beyond me.. but its annoying as HELL!

    The file does work.

    BUT!!

    Before I ran the file...... Pics in the preview window would show pics in the "row" direction.

    After I ran the file........ Pics in the preview window now show pics in the "column" direction.

    I liked it better when the preview window would show the pics in the "row" direction.

    So this is not a 100% fix.

    How can I get the pics to show in the preview window to show in the "row" direction and still keep the "align to grid" function enabled?

    Sunday, October 20, 2013 9:40 PM