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Sort By and Group By in Windows 7

Organizing files in folders is easier when you utilize the Sort by and Group by options in Windows 7. You can sort and group files by name, type and date, but there are a whole slew of other ways to organize your files too. Here’s how to do it.

1. Open a folder with files you want to arrange. Then right-click on an empty white space in the folder window. This will reveal the Sort by and Group by options.


If you choose to ‘sort’ your files, you will literally just be telling Windows to rearrange your files in a given order. If you choose to ‘group’ your files, then there will be a distinct separation between your files and they will be sorted under sub-headings according to the criteria you set, (see image below).


2. The default options for organizing your files are to sort or group by name, date modified, type, and size. However, if you click More… you will find a whole variety of new ways to sort and group your files.


This opens a new menu from which you can scroll through the additional sorting options you have in Windows 7.


3. So, if you have music files to sort/group, you can choose to organize by album or album artist. If you have images, you can organize them by date taken, focal length or even camera model. Documents can be sorted by word count, authors and more.

To add any of this extra criteria to your right-click menu, check the box nest to the criteria you would like to use, and then click OK. Now when you right-click in the same folder, you will see the new options right below your default options.


All you need to do now is click on the method you wish to sort or organize your files by. Remember that you can further customize this method by selecting Ascending or Descending to reverse the order of your chosen criteria.

So, the next time your folders are looking a little cluttered, why not take advantage of the built-in sorting features in Windows 7. They will help you arrange files quickly and easily.

~Jonathan Wylie