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How to Disable Files ‘Grouped by Date’ in File Explorer

File Explorer is grouping files and folders by date in some directories. If you don’t like it, here’s how to disable files ‘Grouped by Date’ in File Explorer.

In newer Windows versions, Microsoft changed how File Explorer groups and displays files and folders in some specific directories. For example, all files and folders in the Downloads folder are sorted by date.

When grouped by date, all the files and folders are separated into user-friendly dates and days. For example, if you downloaded a file today, it will be grouped under the “Today” section. Files downloaded last week will be grouped under “Last Week,” and so on. Simply put, your most recent files will always appear on top.

You can actually see it in action if you open the Downloads. Just open the File Explorer with the “Win + E” shortcut and click “Downloads” on the left panel.

files and folders grouped by date

In theory, this makes it easy to find recently downloaded files. However, the Date Modified grouping makes the files appear cluttered. Moreover, finding files can be a bit harder, at least for me, if they are not recently downloaded. For example, I generally like to sort files by their type. When the files are grouped by date, even though the files are sorted by type, they still appear cluttered.

So, if you don’t like the new Date Modified grouping then follow the below steps to disable the “Grouped by date” setting in File Explorer.

The steps below work the same in Windows 10 and 11.

Fix Files Grouped by Date Modified in Downloads Folder

To stop File Explorer from grouping files and folders by date, you have to set the default Grouping to “None.” Here’s how to do it in simple and easy steps.

  1. Open the File Explorer.
  2. Go to the “grouped by date” folder.
  3. Click the “Sort by” dropdown menu.
  4. Go to the “Group by” option.
  5. Choose the “None” option.
  6. With that, files are no longer grouped by date.
  7. Close the File Explorer.

Steps with more details:

First, open File Explorer with the “Win + E” keyboard and go to the folder with files grouped by date. In my case, that’s the Downloads folder. If that’s the same for you, click “Downloads” under Quick Access.

Depending on your current OS version. i.e., Windows 11 or 10, follow the relevant section.

Windows 11:

Click the “Sort” dropdown menu on the top bar. Next, select the “Group by -> None” option.

disable files grouped by date in Windows 11

Windows 10:

Here, go to the “View” tab, click on the “Group by” dropdown menu and select “None” from the list.

Fix files grouped by date in file explorer

That is it. As soon as you select the “None” option, the files will be ungrouped date-wise and default to whatever view the folder is set to. In my case, the view is set to “Details.”

file and folder nolonger grouped by date

Right-click method

As an alternative, you can also right-click on the empty space inside the File Explorer and select “Group by -> None”. This action will instantly fix files grouped by date in any folder.

Fix files grouped by date in file explorer 04

That is all. It is that simple to fix files and folders grouped by date in Windows File Explorer.

I hope this simple and easy Windows how-to guide helped you.

If you are stuck or need some help, send an email, and I will try to help as much as possible.

4 thoughts on “How to Disable Files ‘Grouped by Date’ in File Explorer”

  1. Avatar for TTP

    Right, but how do you make it stay set to Group by “None” permanently? Every time I download a file or restart my PC, it just goes right back to Group by Date Modified. It’s very annoying.

    1. Avatar for Harry Ohrn

      If you haven’t found an answer yet try this, it works for me:
      Open the Downloads folder in explorer and right click anywhere in a blank space. Select Group by. Then select More ….. Next locate and uncheck the box that says Date Modified and click OK.

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