Sorting with selection kept in Windows Explorer - Why is selection reset when sort order is changed in Windows Explorer?


  • You can no longer sort the contents of a file listing in Windows Explorer, keeping a selection of files made in the previous sort order.

    If this is a bug I would like to know, than I will report it appropriately, otherwise - if it is "by design" - I would like an explanation, why this function was removed.

    As I see it, sorting has to be possible with the selection of files kept intact.

    Searching the net I find many people being upset that this is not possible in Windows 7. I used it all the time at work, on my XP machine. I used to select all dll-files in a certain folder, and then sort by "Date modified", which resulted in a list of files sorted by date, and with the appropriate files selected. This was an easy way to find out which dll files had changed last in our development environment - just sorting by date makes a lot of other files, such as log files and debug files appear in between the dll files.

    Below is another call for this. This user's request was made in another part of MS forum and the  (so called) answer was just a link referring to this place, indicating that the user should put his question here instead, so I take the liberty of putting his text here as well:

    One of my most common ways of working when copying, moving or deleting multiple files using Windows Explorer is (using details view) to sort by one method (for example, by time), select some file, then change sort to another method (for example, by type) and select a few more (perhaps changing sort again and repeating), before finally performing my desired action (e.g. Ctrl-X, Ctrl-C or Shift-Del).

    However, in the Windows 7 RC version of Windows Explorer, as soon as another sort is selected, the selection is reset.  This seriously raises the complexity of doing the tasks that I commonly do, requiring me to do many multiples of the number of steps previously required to do exactly the same thing.

    I would use this operation a minimum of 10 times every day, so this is a *major* issue for me.

    Me again: Until the sorting is working properly with selected files kept, I will have to use third party components, such as the search tool Agent Ransack / File Locator to make a search in the folder I need to do my work in, and use its built-in result pane for sorting the files.

    • Edited by AndreasJ1974 Tuesday, January 4, 2011 11:02 AM Adding info about thrid party components work-around
    Tuesday, January 4, 2011 10:00 AM


All replies

  • Hi,


    This is by design.


    If you have any suggestion or concerns, please contact Feedback Team via the following link:



    You can also post your feedback or comments on Feedback Forum.


    Thanks for your suggestion again. J

    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread. ”
    Thursday, January 6, 2011 8:52 AM
  • Yet another one of Microsoft's "improvements" to Windows 7. And no explanation of why it is by design, as Andreas asked
    Thursday, January 13, 2011 12:05 AM
  • And yet another link to a new place... (The forum moderator on the other thread, referred to in my initial message, referred to this part of the forum.)

    I have now followed the advice from Juke Chou: I sent a link referring to this page, to the Feedback Team.


    Thursday, February 3, 2011 1:48 PM
  • Then exactly what is the design idea behind this? It is a loss of functionality I would say.
    Wednesday, February 9, 2011 4:03 AM
  • Old news I know, but for anyone else who is frustrated by this Windows inadequacy, and finds their way here (after being unsure exactly what to search for, as I was) - there appears to be a solution at

    Haven't installed it yet myself, but I'm certainly hopeful . . .

    Friday, February 19, 2016 4:50 AM