Date Over Type: Rethinking File Arrangement in Windows 11 Pro


How can I configure Windows 11 Pro’s File Explorer to sort items strictly by the date created, in ascending order, without automatically placing folders at the top of the list, regardless of the file type? This is to address an issue where a folder that should appear amidst video files based on its creation date persistently remains at the beginning of the list, despite setting the grouping option to ‘none’.


Windows 11 Pro users often seek more control over how their files are displayed in File Explorer. A common frustration arises when folders are automatically prioritized at the top of the list, regardless of the ‘Date Created’ sorting preference. If you’re looking to have a mixed list of files and folders sorted strictly by the date they were created, here’s how you can achieve that.

Understanding the Default Behavior

By default, Windows File Explorer separates folders from files, placing folders at the top when sorting by any attribute. This behavior is designed for convenience, but it can be an obstacle for users who prefer a chronological sorting order that mixes folders and files together.

Steps to Achieve Mixed Sorting


Open File Explorer

: Navigate to the folder you wish to sort.


Access View Options

: Click on the ‘View’ tab at the top of File Explorer.


Change Folder Options

: In the ‘View’ menu, find and click on ‘Options’ to open ‘Folder Options’.


Modify Sort Settings

: Within the ‘View’ tab of the ‘Folder Options’ dialog, scroll down and uncheck the option ‘Always show menus’.


Apply and Save

: Click ‘Apply’, then ‘OK’ to save your changes.

Additional Tips

  • If the above steps don’t resolve the issue, consider using third-party file management software that offers more flexible sorting options.
  • Remember that changes made in the ‘Folder Options’ will apply to all folders unless specified otherwise in individual folder settings.


While Windows 11 Pro’s File Explorer has its default sorting logic, with a few adjustments, you can customize the view to suit your preferences. By following the steps outlined above, you should be able to sort your files and folders strictly by the ‘Date Created’, in ascending order, without discrimination of file type.

Please note that the steps provided are based on the typical settings available in Windows 11 Pro as of my last update in 2021. For the most current instructions or if you encounter any issues, it’s recommended to consult the latest Windows support resources or reach out to a professional for assistance.

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