Sort By


This menu selects a sort order for display of files and folders in the Files pane.

Selecting a Sort By order cancels a Group By order. The Sort By menu is built by Explorer++ based on the columns currently enabled in Details view; your menu may differ from the one shown here. Selecting an item in this menu has the same effect as clicking on the header for that column in the Files pane.

Sort order

Current sorting target

The current sorting target must be an enabled column, which would be shown in Details view. This may be any column, but some are more useful that others. Sorting by Name, for example, places items in alphabetical order, while sorting using the Owner (as per Windows security and permissions settings) column may yield results which are essentially unusable, since likely all files have the same owner.

Following is a list of just a few common sorting targets available in the current version of Explorer++. See Select Columns… for a more complete list.


This is the file name, including extension


Windows registered file type (eg. JPEG image)


File size (actual, in bytes)

Date Modified

Last date file was modified/changed


eg. read-only, hidden, system


Just the file extension (eg. txt)

Note that the list of available sorting targets (ie. Sort By menu) may change depending the active folder. Some special folders, such as My Computer, for example, have a different list of sorting targets (or display columns) than others.

Sort direction

Items for display may be sorted in

  • ascending order, that is, alphabetically - a before b, smaller before larger, etc., or

  • descending order, that is, alphabetically - b before a, larger before smaller, etc.,

depending on your preference. For example, with Date Modified as the target, it may be more desirable to use descending order, thereby placing the most recent items at the top of the list. If you are trying to locate files with zero length, then using an ascending sort with Size as the target places zero length files at the top of the list.

Since the sorting target is always an enabled column (as would be shown in Details view), the column heading reflects both the target and direction, as shown in the vertical arrow.






This menu item opens the Select Columns… dialog allowing you to enable additional columns, or disable existing ones. Once the columns are managed, the Sort By menu must be re-opened to set a different sorting target.