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Buttons to Sort Folder Contents in Windows 7 RC RRS feed

  • Question

  • Windows Vista had handy buttons to change the sort order of any directory in Windows Explorer.  In Windows 7 RC, those bottons are gone unless you are viewing that directory by Details.  But I like to view by List, and still have any easy way to change the sort order. 

    As it stands, if I want to sort by descending Date, I have to right-click in an open space in the folder, select "Sort by", select "Date modified", then right-click AGAIN in an open space in the folder, select "Sort by", and select "Descending".  That is compared to a simple double-click on the "Date modified" button in Vista. 

    This is a dramatic step backwards in usability.  I understand that there is a push to simplify the UI, but I should at least have the option to display the "sort order toolbar" (or whatever you want to call it) in some or all folders if I choose to.  Does anyone know if there is a way to restore this functionality in Windows 7?  Thanks.

    Monday, May 4, 2009 3:53 PM

Answers

  • 'Sort by' is now a 'context' menu item. Rightclick on a blank area of the folder background,( e.g., a folder like Pictures,) while in List view. Works fine for me.

    The "rightclick" method may work, but it is deficient in two respects when compared to the sort buttons in Vista. 

    First, to sort a folder by date in descending order takes 6 rightclick+click+click combinations, for a total of 18 clicks.  Sorting by date in descending order in Vista takes 2 clicks (click "Date modified" twice).  When you do this dozens of times per day, that adds up quickly.

    Second, there is no way to know in Windows 7 what the prevailing sort order is for a given folder.  In Vista, the appropriate sort button is darkened to show that it is effective, and an upward or downward facing arrow indicates ascending or descending.

    Even though rightclick may be a decent workaround for infrequent users of this feature, I see no reason why you should remove the sort buttons for those of us who change sorting options quite frequently.
    Friday, May 8, 2009 6:49 PM
  • finalewiz,

    I submitted this to MSFT through the official Win7 beta feedback channel, and got the following response:

    "Thank you for reporting this issue. Unfortunately, this is not something we are able to address in Windows 7. We will however consider this feedback for a future version of Windows."

    Not looking good.  Looks like we will either need a groundswell of support for this feature, or else a 3rd-party coder to create a Windows Explorer toolbar that gives us back this functionality.  Any ideas?

    Wednesday, May 13, 2009 5:29 PM

All replies

  • 'Sort by' is now a 'context' menu item. Rightclick on a blank area of the folder background,( e.g., a folder like Pictures,) while in List view. Works fine for me.
    Rating posts helps other users
    Mark L. Ferguson MS-MVP
    Friday, May 8, 2009 3:42 PM
    Moderator
  • 'Sort by' is now a 'context' menu item. Rightclick on a blank area of the folder background,( e.g., a folder like Pictures,) while in List view. Works fine for me.

    The "rightclick" method may work, but it is deficient in two respects when compared to the sort buttons in Vista. 

    First, to sort a folder by date in descending order takes 6 rightclick+click+click combinations, for a total of 18 clicks.  Sorting by date in descending order in Vista takes 2 clicks (click "Date modified" twice).  When you do this dozens of times per day, that adds up quickly.

    Second, there is no way to know in Windows 7 what the prevailing sort order is for a given folder.  In Vista, the appropriate sort button is darkened to show that it is effective, and an upward or downward facing arrow indicates ascending or descending.

    Even though rightclick may be a decent workaround for infrequent users of this feature, I see no reason why you should remove the sort buttons for those of us who change sorting options quite frequently.
    Friday, May 8, 2009 6:49 PM
  • I completely agree.  How did this happen?  Those sort buttons at the top were priceless if you like using List View like me.  Now several clicks away?

    This is my only disappointment in Windows 7, and a BIG ONE!

    There isn't even a good keyboard-only solution.  Doing right-click, O, D produces mixed results, since there are two items starting with D.. also, it takes two steps anyways.  AARGH - Microsoft, please change it back!
    Wednesday, May 13, 2009 2:55 PM
  • finalewiz,

    I submitted this to MSFT through the official Win7 beta feedback channel, and got the following response:

    "Thank you for reporting this issue. Unfortunately, this is not something we are able to address in Windows 7. We will however consider this feedback for a future version of Windows."

    Not looking good.  Looks like we will either need a groundswell of support for this feature, or else a 3rd-party coder to create a Windows Explorer toolbar that gives us back this functionality.  Any ideas?

    Wednesday, May 13, 2009 5:29 PM
  • While I've already changed my laptop and family computer over to Win7 RC, I think this may be the issue that keeps my main productivity system on Vista, either until SP1 or until somebody writes a helper program to fix this.  Really, there is nothing else about Win7 other than some "wow" factors that would make me switch - normally I would just to keep on the cutting edge, but this problem is significant to me.

    (sigh)
    Friday, May 29, 2009 6:06 PM
  • >> 'Sort by' is now a 'context' menu item. Rightclick on a blank area of the folder background,( e.g., a folder like Pictures,) while in List view. Works fine for me.

    This is really moronic. In our business we use thumbnail view for folders each containing thousands of images. They need to be sorted either by Name or Date Modified -- hundreds of times a day. Already I've had to go through the tedious process of demonstrating how to do this for half a dozen people using my Win 7 RC machine. They can't believe that what used to be so easy is now so complicated.

    Who's the nitwit responsible for this "feature"?
    Friday, July 3, 2009 5:40 AM
  • Some possible good news: I just received confirmation that one of my other Windows 7 GUI concerns, the lack of a "restore previous folder windows at logon" option, will be revived in the RTM build.  This despite the fact that when I submitted a feature request on that subject through the Win7 beta feedback channel, I got the same canned response as described above (basically, thanks but we can't get to it for Win7).  So maybe there's hope for the sort buttons too!  I asked the poster who confirmed that feature to check on the sort buttons for me, we'll see what he says.  Fingers crossed...

    Anyone else have access to the most recent build of Win7?

    Other post can be found here .
    Friday, July 17, 2009 3:08 PM
  • Konst-33 has just replied to my other post (see link above): " <!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:"Cambria Math"; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:roman; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-1610611985 1107304683 0 0 159 0;} @font-face {font-family:Calibri; panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4; mso-font-alt:"Times New Roman"; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:swiss; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-1610611985 1073750139 0 0 159 0;} @font-face {font-family:Verdana; panose-1:2 11 6 4 3 5 4 4 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:swiss; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-1593833729 1073750107 16 0 415 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin;} .MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; font-size:10.0pt; mso-ansi-font-size:10.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.0in 1.0in 1.0in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> No. They are only available in detail view - not in list view ".  Sigh.  Why, Microsoft, why?  I suppose until the RTM hits, there's still hope...
    Saturday, July 18, 2009 12:43 PM
  • I HATE that I cant set every folder to sort by type
    Sunday, May 2, 2010 9:04 PM
  • Maybe if Microsoft hears from a few more users about this feature, they'll add it back in SP1.  Encourage people to reply to this post requesting this feature, and hit the green arrow button to the left of the initial post, where it says "Vote As Helpful".  Microsoft will hear us eventually!
    Sunday, May 2, 2010 10:41 PM
  • Thank you!  I hated that I could no longer sort the contents of a folder like I could using  XP.  Now I know how to do it!   Hoo hoo!!  I added "type" to my list of sort options and now sorting is a piece of cake  THANK YOU!<input id="gwProxy" type="hidden"></input> <input id="jsProxy" onclick="jsCall();" type="hidden" />
    Sunday, August 8, 2010 2:23 AM
  • I just got Windows 7 and I use Explorer all day long.  To have all of these folders included in my sort by Date Modified is horrible.  I moved all of the folders into a Documents directory I created, while keeping my working files in My Documents.  It used to be so easy in Vista (and everything before that).  Why mess with "sort" when it wasn't broken?
    Sunday, August 15, 2010 6:50 PM
  • Yeah, I just asked the same question.  That and the **HORRID** search results pane are the only two things that I really detest about Win7 -- and, make no mistake, I do LOATHE them (with the heat of a thousand burning suns!).

    Change to detail view -- sort -- change back to large icons?  :-P

    Monday, June 11, 2012 3:55 AM