Windows10 sorts by the random name that someone (Microsoft staff?) invented to describe each filetype, rather than sorting by file-type.

So, for instance, .ZIP files sort as the letter "c". (Microsoft internally calls them "Compressed (zipped) folder").

When trying to find a file of a given type - or check if that type is present in a folder - you're out of luck. The only way to find it is to go to the command prompt and use DIR or LS on "*.[extension]".

Is there a way to un-break windows Explorer and make it correctly order by file-type?

  • Using german Windows 10 Build 1803 here, i can't relate - sorting files by type lists them in alphabetical order on my PC.
    – xph
    May 27, 2019 at 11:30
  • Btw, you can edit those 'random names' under View/Options/file types. That's not a good way to solve your issue though.
    – Aganju
    May 27, 2019 at 12:29

2 Answers 2


Disclaimer: I have a french Windows so I may not use the correct vocabulary.

In detailed view (with name, date, type... columns), right-click on the columns title bar, then "more", then look for "file extension". This adds a column with the file extension, and you can then sort on this.

  • In English Windows, the option is currently "more".
    – Adam
    May 27, 2019 at 18:36
  • @Adam Thanks, corrected. In french it's "autres".
    – user962918
    May 27, 2019 at 19:00

You have to group by file type. Windows explorer right click "Group By". Normally is grouped by Date modified. Later, you can sort by Name.

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