Is there any way to make Windows Explorer list the Files and Folder together and not Folders First?

So Folders and Files are sorted together by file name:

  • 1
    ack! I hate this! It makes Windows Explorer almost unusable!
    – iconoclast
    Oct 9 '12 at 22:18
  • I fired up FreeCommander to see if it could do it. No dice... I'm digging around for an alternative that knows how to sort by name alone.
    – iconoclast
    Oct 9 '12 at 23:06
  • There is a reason for that. It may require a huge capacity list that Windows File Manager can not afford due to speed issues. You need special software like ShowSize to see such lists. link
    – user173399
    Jun 10 '16 at 2:50
  • microsoft has done nothing right and yet is extremely successful. we're all sadists.
    – J.Money
    Apr 24 '20 at 22:33

The short answer is no, there is not a way to do this in Windows Explorer.

The View | Group by | Name method given by ckhan is the closest you are going to get.


I don't think there's a way to do this cleanly if you want to keep stock explorer, but you can do it with xplorer2, which is a pretty solid replacement for explorer for powerusers. By default it sorts files and folders separately if you're sorting by name. However, if you sort by anything else (like modified date) it will comingle folders and files, which is usually exactly what I want. You can even have it calculate subfolder sizes (ctrl-d) and then sort by size and get a unified sorting of files and folders by size.


From a command shell, just type dir, it won't group directories first. If you want to capture it to study/review/print later, do dir > list.txt

If you want to see it in Explorer, you can choose View | Group by | Name from the explorer View menu.

  • 1
    ...this question is about WINDOWS EXPLORER, it's clearly tagged as such.
    – Mesh
    Apr 24 '12 at 9:39
  • 1
    @Adrian. Sorry, didn't notice that. Updated answer with Explorer notes.
    – ckhan
    Apr 24 '12 at 9:54
  • 2
    Group By style puts folders at the top(or bottom) within each group.
    – Mesh
    Apr 24 '12 at 11:46
  • It is not ideal, but it is an improvement over having all of the folders at the top, at least in some cases. Sigh.
    – Mark Meuer
    Jun 6 '12 at 22:38

right click in the folder where you want to sort our the files & folders, from the pop-up menu select view then click by name, then if the folders are the first on the list do the same procedure again automatically the files will be the first one's

  • 1
    thats not what I meant by '..not folders first' - I'll amend question.
    – Mesh
    Apr 24 '12 at 11:49

If you have a Mac handy, use that. I do this once a month when a bunch of files need to be sorted into folders with names similar to the file names. (My office has one Mac connected to the network.)

But yes, it would be very handy if Windows could do this directly.

  • This is great if the files are on an external drive, USB stick, or SD card. Not so great if they're on the internal drive of the Windows machine. Jul 25 '19 at 6:26

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