Windows – Sort files by date modified, but folders always before files in Windows Explorer

windows 7windows-explorer

I can sort files and directories in Windows Explorer by date modified. I always let recent files display first. But when I sort by date modified, directories are always displayed after the files.

Is it possible to sort files by date modified, but display directories before files?

Best Answer

I've been trying to do the same (i.e. distinguish the sort for folders from files, leaving files sorted by date). A clunky solution for win7 is suggested to me by another superuser post, making use of the 'group by' capabilities. If the file attributes are displayed in explorer (e.g. view > sort by > more... > [check 'attributes']), then you can group by attribute (essentially files vs. folders) using view > group by > attributes, and sort by date modified using view > sort by > date modified. With this, I can get folders to appear at the top, and files underneath this arranged by date.

Why would I want to do this? I'm by no way pedantic in how I organize files, but I do find I end up with a large directory structure - and typically when clicking through this, I'm usually interested in getting to subfolders. When I've reached the folder I want however, I usually will be wanting to access the most recently modified file. So having folders and recently modified files at the top saves scrolling.