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My file dialog shows files sorted by date and I want it to sort alphabetically by filename.

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  1. Open Windows Explorer (Windows-E)
  2. Click on the column you want to sort on (Name)
  3. Ctrl-Click on the 'X' close button at the top

Edit: This appears to be a folder by folder setting.

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This might have to be renewed from time to time, because Windows has a short memory. – harrymc Oct 1 '09 at 15:02
Why are you answering your own question? – djhowell Oct 1 '09 at 15:17
@djhowell: because we're too slow? – harrymc Oct 1 '09 at 16:11
@Ivo: Happens all the time when you're "stuck" and then figure something out, in my experience. – Andrew Coleson Oct 2 '09 at 2:18
@djhowell: It's OK to answer your own question: (last sentence in the first section) – Dennis Williamson Oct 5 '09 at 0:50

As seen at:

"To resolve this behavior, reset the default sort order: 1. Right-click Start, click Explore and then click drive C. 2. On the View menu, click Details. 3. Click the Name column to sort items by name, press and hold down the CTRL key, and then quit Windows Explorer by clicking Close in the upper- right corner of the screen. 4. Release the CTRL key. 5. Restart your computer. NOTE: You must perform these steps exactly as they are listed. For example, do not quit Windows Explorer by clicking Exit on the File menu."

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I was still getting inconsistent results with the various solutions. This seemed to work best for me:

  1. Open My Documents folder, Select View - Details
  2. Either (A) move Date column to the far left or (B) right click on date column, select "More" and move Date to the very top (Move Up button)
  3. Click on Date to sort by most recent
  4. Select View - Options
  5. Select View tab, Apply to all folders

This will always sort folders for that document type by date since it is the first column and saved as default view.

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