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Windows 7: Windows Explorer Auto Arrange - Disable



Windows Explorer Auto Arrange - Disable

How to Disable Auto Arrange in Windows 7 Explorer to have Free Sorting
Published by Brink
22 Jun 2010
Default Windows Explorer Auto Arrange - Disable

How to Disable Auto Arrange in Windows 7 Explorer to have Free Sorting


information   Information
In Windows 7, auto arrange is enabled by default so that all file and folder names in Windows Explorer are sorted alphabetically no matter what folder view you used.

This is basically like having how you can arrange icons how you like on your desktop in every folder in Windows Explorer now.

This will show you how to disable Auto Arrange in Windows 7 to be able to sort your files and folders in any random order and position you like in each opened folder in Windows Explorer and in the Pin to Start Menu area at the top of the Start Menu without it having to be sorted alphabetically by name. Windows 7 will also remember these random folder sortings (order and position), and open as how they were when the folder window was last closed.

Note   Note
When You Disable Auto Arrange:
  • While using Extra Large Icons, Large Icons, Medium Icons, Small Icons, and Extended Tiles folder views, you can arrange files/folders in any random order and position.
  • While using Details folder view, you can only arrange files/folders in any order and not in any random position.
  • While using Extra Large Icons, Large Icons, Medium Icons, Small Icons, and Extended Tiles folder views, you can click on View (Menu bar) and check Auto arrange to have the black indicator line back inbetween files/folders when arranging files/folders in any order. This turns off the ability to arrange files/folders by random positions though.
  • While using Extra Large Icons, Large Icons, Medium Icons, Small Icons, and Extended Tiles folder views, you can click on View (Menu bar) and uncheck Auto arrange to be able to arrange files/folders in any order and random positions.
  • The Auto arrange and Align to grid options can be turned on and off at will in the View (Menu bar and right click context menu) when available (not grayed out) while using Extra Large Icons, Large Icons, Medium Icons, Small Icons, or Extended Tiles folder views.
  • If you have items arranged by random positions and switch from a Extra Large Icons, Large Icons, Medium Icons, Small Icons, and Extended Tiles folder view to a List, Details, Extended Tiles, or Content folder view, the random positions will be reset but still placed in a order of arrangement instead.
  • If you unzip a file in a folder, move a folder, or rename a folder, it will refresh and auto arrange the files in that specific folder only after each time you do this. Auto arrange is still disabled for that folder, but you will need to arrange the files back to whatever non-auto arranged order you like again after unzipping a file in a folder, move a folder, or rename a folder.
warning   Warning
DO NOT USE this tutorial in any other OS than Windows 7.
  • While this tutorial will allow you to disable auto arrange in the main Libraries folder itself, it will not disable auto arrange in any of the other library folders (ex: Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos).
  • Free sorting is not available if you use "Group by" folder views instead of only "Sort by" folder views.
  • Free sorting is not available in the List and Content folder views.
  • When you disable Auto Arrange, you will have Extend Tiles folder view instead of Tiles available in all folders except the Computer windows.


EXAMPLE: Auto Arrange Enabled and Disabled
NOTE: Notice in the screenshot with Auto Arrange disabled, the files can be dragged around the Windows Explorer window to sort how you like without having to be in alphabetical order.
Windows Explorer Auto Arrange - Disable-default.jpg

Windows Explorer Auto Arrange - Disable-disabled-1.jpg

Windows Explorer Auto Arrange - Disable-disabled-2.jpg




OPTION ONE
To Disable Auto Arrange in Windows 7 Windows Explorer


warning   Warning
It is also recommended to create a restore point before doing this option in case you would like to undo any unwanted unknown side affects that OPTION TWO may not undo. This way, you could also do a system restore with this restore point to undo this option completely.

1. Click on the Download button below to download the BAT file below.
Disable_Windows_7_Explorer_Auto_Arrange.bat
download
2. Save the .bat file to your desktop.

3. Close everything that you have running first, then run the downloaded .bat file.

4. If prompted, click on Run.
NOTE: If you like, you can stop getting the Run prompt by unblocking the downloaded .bat file.

5. You will now notice your screen flicker and a command prompt open as the explorer process is restarted.

6. Let the command prompt count down to finish on it's own without pressing a key.

7. When it's finished, you will see the Computer window open.

8. Auto arrange in Windows Explorer is now disabled.



OPTION TWO
To Enable Auto Arrange in Windows 7 Windows Explorer

NOTE: This is the default setting.
1. Click on the Download button below to download the BAT file below.
Enable_Windows_7_Explorer_Auto_Arrange.bat
download
2. Save the .bat file to your desktop.

3. Close all opened explorer windows first, then run the downloaded .bat file.

4. If prompted, click on Run.
NOTE: If you like, you can stop getting the Run prompt by unblocking the downloaded .bat file.

5. You will now notice your screen flicker and a command prompt open as the explorer process is restarted.

6. When it's finished, you will see the Computer window open.

7. Auto arrange in Windows Explorer is now enabled again.
That's it,
Shawn





Related Tutorials

Published by
28 Jun 2010   #1
Yajiro

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 x64
 
 

Brink, is it possible to change Extended Tiles back to normal Tiles and have it still work?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jun 2010   #2
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Yajiro,

Sorry, but it does not work in any of the "Tiles" view settings.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jul 2010   #3
srskypuppy

W-7 pro 64bit
 
 

Hello Brink,
I have been very displeased with W-7 explorer, thanks for working on this!

I found your solution only after implementing one from another source and wonder which is best overall.

If you are interested, would you please take a look at "disablefullrowselect" in the file "Windows 7-fullrowsel.zip"
found here: How to Disable Full Row Select in Explorer in Windows 7? - The Winhelponline Blog

I'm looking forward to your comparison!
Thanks again,
Steve
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


23 Jul 2010   #4
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Steve, and welcome to Seven Forums.

The link you posted to is not for the same thing though.

I have seen that, but in my opinion the side effects it causes may not be worth doing it.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jul 2010   #5
srskypuppy

W-7 pro 64bit
 
 

Hi Shawn,
Yes they are different fix's: I read that the auto arrange disable is a side effect of the authors main intent which was to disable full row select.

It sounds like your registry change is cleaner and more specific so I’d like to give it a try.

Question: In case it doesn’t work for me, does’ your solution have an "undo" or would I need to go back myself and do a system restore or maybe manually re-install my old reg file?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jul 2010   #6
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Ah, ok.

You can do OPTION TWO using the Reset download to undo it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jul 2010   #7
mardy88

Windows 7
 
 

Thanks...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jul 2010   #8
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

You're most welcome Mardy, and welcome to Seven Forums.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jul 2010   #9
Capt.Jack Sparrow

Windows 7 Ultimate - 64-bit | Windows 8 Pro - 64-bit
 
 

Shawn,

Does it improve the performance of loading files ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows Explorer Auto Arrange - Disable




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