Windows Explorer Auto Arrange - Disable

ByLine
How to Disable Auto Arrange in Vista Windows Explorer to have Free Sorting
Synopsis
This will show you how to disable or re-enable Auto Arrange in Vista to be able to sort your files and folders in any random order and position you like in Windows Explorer without it having to be sorted alphabetically by name.
How to Disable Auto Arrange in Vista Windows Explorer to have Free Sorting

information   Information
In Vista, auto arrange is enabled by default so that all file and folder names in Windows Explorer are sorted alphabetically no matter what folder view you used.

This will show you how to disable or re-enable Auto Arrange in Vista to be able to sort your files and folders in any random order and position you like in Windows Explorer without it having to be sorted alphabetically by name. Vista will also remember these random folder sortings, and open as how they were when the window was last closed.

Note   Note
When You Disable Auto Arrange:
  • While using Extra Large Icons, Large Icons, Medium Icons, Small Icons, and Extended Tiles folder views, you can arrange files/folders in any random order and position.
  • While using Details folder view, you can only arrange files/folders in any order and not in any position.
  • While using Extra Large Icons, Large Icons, Medium Icons, Small Icons, and Extended Tiles folder views, you can click on View (Menu bar) and check Auto arrange to have the black indicator line back inbetween files/folders when arranging files/folders in any order. This turns off the ability to arrange files/folders by random positions though.
  • While using Extra Large Icons, Large Icons, Medium Icons, Small Icons, and Extended Tiles folder views, you can click on View (Menu bar) and uncheck Auto arrange to be able to arrange files/folders in any order and random positions.
  • The Auto arrange option in the View (Menu bar) is only available while using the using Extra Large Icons, Large Icons, Medium Icons, Small Icons, and Extended Tiles folder views. Auto arrange is grayed out while using the other folder views.
  • If you have items arranged by random positions and switch from a Extra Large Icons, Large Icons, Medium Icons, Small Icons, and Extended Tiles folder views to a List, Details, Extended Tiles, or Content folder view, the random positions will be reset but still placed in a order of arrangement instead.
  • If you unzip a file in a folder, move a folder, or rename a folder, it will refresh and auto arrange the files in that specific folder only after each time you do this. Auto arrange is still disabled for that folder, but you will need to arrange the files back to whatever non-auto arranged order you like again after unzipping a file in a folder, move a folder, or rename a folder.
warning   Warning
DO NOT USE this tutorial in any other OS than Vista.
EXAMPLE: Auto Arrange Enabled and Disabled in Vista
NOTE:
Notice in the screenshot with Auto Arrange disabled, the files can be dragged around the Windows Explorer window to sort how you like without having to be in alphabetical order.

Enabled.jpg
Disabled-1.jpg Disabled-2.jpg





OPTION ONE
To Disable Auto Arrange in Vista Windows Explorer

1. Click on the Download button below to download the BAT file below.​
Disable_Vista_Explorer_Auto_Arrange.bat
download

2. Save the .bat file to your desktop.​
3. Close everything that you have running first, then run the downloaded .bat file.​
4. If prompted, click on Run.​
NOTE: If you like, you can stop getting the Run prompt by unblocking the downloaded .bat file.​
5. You will now notice your screen flicker as explorer is restarted.​
6. When it's finished, you will see the Computer window open.​
7. Auto arrange in Windows Explorer is now disabled.​




OPTION TWO
To Enable Auto Arrange in Vista Windows Explorer

NOTE: This is the default setting.
1. Click on the Download button below to download the BAT file below.​
Enable_Vista_Explorer_Auto_Arrange.bat
download

2. Save the .bat file to your desktop.​
3. Close everything that you have running first, then run the downloaded .bat file.​
4. If prompted, click on Run.​
NOTE: If you like, you can stop getting the Run prompt by unblocking the downloaded .bat file.​
5. You will now notice your screen flicker as explorer is restarted.​
6. When it's finished, you will see the Computer window open.​
7. Auto arrange in Windows Explorer is now enabled again.​
That's it,
Shawn


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Last edited by a moderator:
Shawn Brink

Comments

Hello Patch,

It's possible, but you would have to arrange them how you like in the C:\Users\(user-name)\Favorites folder location, then reopen IE to see them arranged the same way. :)
 
Tutorial has been updated to use .bat (batch) files now to make enabling/disabling Auto Arrange in Windows Explorer a lot easier to do.
 
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