How can I make Win XP display my files in forward alphabetical order (a to z)?
May 28, 2004 10:25 AM   Subscribe

Win XP is displaying my files in backwards alphabetical order (z-->a, not a-->z). I can't get it to switch back (I've tried - any ideas what I can do? (I've tried using explorer to reset all folders).
posted by ascullion to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
You do know that you can click the little tabs at the top of the various columns (Name, Size, Type, Date, etc...) to set which one it sorts by and that by clicking repeatedly you reverse the sort order, right? Just a sanity check...
posted by badstone at 10:35 AM on May 28, 2004

Response by poster: Yeah, thanks - but I need something permanent. Doing that with every folder I open is doing my head in.

I'm starting to think this may be one of those unsolvable nightmares that requires a reinstall.
posted by ascullion at 10:39 AM on May 28, 2004

Sort them in the order you want, then hold down CTRL while you hit the X to close the window.
posted by smackfu at 10:40 AM on May 28, 2004

Response by poster: MY God, that worked! Thanks so much - where does one acquire such information?
posted by ascullion at 10:43 AM on May 28, 2004

Vague memories of randomly running across this, corrected by Google.
posted by smackfu at 11:37 AM on May 28, 2004

The real question is, why is this not documented by MS itself?
posted by signal at 12:08 PM on May 28, 2004

Microsoft doesn document most keyboard shortcuts in the help files and online.
posted by riffola at 1:07 PM on May 28, 2004

That should be does not doesn.
posted by riffola at 1:07 PM on May 28, 2004

I am also having this problem on XP, but I have only noticed it happening in the artist folders in the "My Music" folder. My music folder is organized with artist folders at the root level, and album folders within those. It seems that any time I open an artist folder I haven't looked at (and changed the sort order) recently, the albums will be in reverse alphabetical order. The contents of the album folders (the tracks themselves) rarely have this problem.

No amount of control-clicking seems to resolve the problem, unfortunately. The folders do seem to have "auto arrange" turned on, and I have set the "remember each folder's view settings" option, not that it works very consistently. I often return to a folder I haven't touched in a while to find that the sort order has reverted to backward-mode again.

The problem does occur with brand-new folders. If I rip a few CDs by the same artist, creating an artist folder and some album folders within it, the artist folder's contents will sort backwards and the albums will (generally) sort forwards.

More strangely, if I right-click on the folder in the explorer window and select "open," the contents in the new window are sometimes sorted correctly.

Reading that someone else had the problem gave me a moment of hope that perhaps I wasn't just cursed. Seeing that ascullion's problem was easily fixed, while mine persists, is making me reconsider the possibility of a curse.
posted by hashashin at 2:26 PM on May 28, 2004

I've been having EXACTLY this problem in Win98 for the past few weeks. I had not had this problem previously. I was wondering if it was someone's idea of a joke virus. It affects all my folders. It seemed like some folders, after a time, remembered I wanted them MY way, and stopped changing every time. Then they went suddenly back to backwards.
posted by Goofyy at 6:55 AM on May 29, 2004

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