Disable auto arrange in folders on Windows 10 [QUICK GUIDE]

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • If you used to be able to freely arrange icons within a folder, in Windows 10 you have to perform some additional steps.
  • A first solution would be to use the Registry Editor, and follow a few simple steps there.
  • You can also use a tweak that allows you to disable the automatic arrangement of icons in File Explorer in Windows 10.
  • Or you just need to check the Auto arrange option in File Explorer.
Disable auto arrange in folders on Windows 10
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In previous versions of Windows, you could arrange icons inside a folder freely. However, this option was removed from Windows 7 and all other versions that came after Windows 7.

If you’re missing this feature in Windows 10, there’s a way to disable auto arrange in folders in Windows 10, so keep reading.


How can I disable auto arrange in folders?

1. Disable auto arrange in Registry Editor [Method 1]

  1. Press the Windows Key+ R, and type regedit to open Registry Editor.
  2. Navigate to the following key on the left panel, and delete the Bags subkey: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ShellHow to Disable Auto Arrange in Folders in Windows 10 1
  3. Go to the following key on the left panel, and delete the Bags subkey here again: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell
  4. Navigate to the following key, and delete the Bags subkey here as well: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\NoRoam
  5. Close Registry Editor.
  6. Open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+ Shift+ Esc.
  7. Locate Windows Explorer from the list of processes, and click the Restart button.
  8. Download disable-auto-arrange.zip.
  9. Extract the files from the archive you just downloaded.
  10. Run disableautoarrange.reg to add it to your registry.
  11. Open This PC, and close it.
  12. Repeat Step 7 to restart Windows Explorer.

Auto arrange should be disabled now, and you can freely arrange files inside folders. We have to mention that this method works only for large icons, medium icons, small icons, and extra-large icons icon views.

If you can’t edit Windows 10’s Registry, try our quick solution to solve this problem.


2. Turn off auto arrange in Registry Editor [Method 2]

  1. Press the Windows Key+ R, and type regedit to open Registry Editor.
  2. Navigate to the following key, and delete the Bags subkey: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\NoRoam
  3. Close Registry Editor.
  4. Open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+ Shift+ Esc.
  5. Locate Windows Explorer from the list of processes, and click the Restart button.How to Disable Auto Arrange in Folders in Windows 10 2
  6. Download disable-auto-arrange.zip.
  7. Extract the files from the archive you just downloaded.
  8. Run disableautoarrange.reg to add it to your registry.
  9. Open This PC, and close it.
  10. Repeat Step 5 to restart Windows Explorer.

Auto arranges should be disabled. Try to freely arrange files inside folders to check if this method worked.

Again, keep in mind that this method works only for the large icons, medium icons, small icons, and extra-large icons icon views.

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3. Disable auto arrange in File Explorer

How to Disable Auto Arrange in Folders in Windows 10 3
  1. Open any folder using File Explorer, and right-click the empty space.
  2. Go to View, and make sure that the Auto arrange option is unchecked.
  3. If the option is turned off, you can easily arrange items in any way you want.

4. Manually arrange files in a folder

sort file explorer files

There is another method to sort files and folders in File Explorer.

There is an option called Sort by that allows you to sort your files and folder depending on various criteria, including file size, date modified, name, and so on.

Of course, you can also choose to sort your files in ascending or descending alphabetical order.


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That’s about it, we hope this article helped you to disable auto arrange inside a folder. If you have any comments or questions, just reach for the comments below.

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Editor's Note: This article was originally published in December 2015 and was revamped and updated in January 2021 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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  • Thanks, I’ve been trying to figuring out this issue. Finally, I can organize a folder and items within the folder. I am running windows 10.Thanks

  • I did this, and it worked, I can arrange everything in my folders however i want. But there is a problem, now, when I view my folder with large or extra large icons, there is a lot of space between each icon, more than before. Is there a way to undo what I did, or to fix the problem?

  • Appears to have been broken in new windows update. You can still use auto arrange but it will rearrange the folder as soon as you close it or refresh.

  • Hello. So I deleted the Bags subkey for steps #3 and #5, but when I went to step #6, there was no Bags subkey. Since it’s not available, can I please get some advice on how to put it back so I can get my folders back to the way they were. Thanks, in advance.

  • After a windows update this has stopped working for me.
    All my work hundreds of files and folders now in a mess.
    Is there anyway to get it working again like something extra needing deleting in the registry maybe?

  • Is there an update to this that will work with Details, Content, and all other views as well?
    Not going to delete stuff out of my registry if I only can rearrange with icons…

  • Just did everything as instructed above, and it worked PERFECTLY! I also was worried about deleting Windows Registry files, as well as downloading a file and installing it. Luckily I took the chance, and it works great. Thanks Ivan.

  • All this because Micro$oft was too lazy to include a Manual option in the arrangement sub-menu?
    And it does not even work for Tile, does it?

    Shame. Shame! SHAME!