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


Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
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Disable auto arrange in folders on Windows 10

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.

How can I disable auto arrange in folders?

If you want to disable auto arrange inside a folder you need to do the following:

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

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How to turn off Auto Arrange in File Explorer [Method 1]

To disable auto arrange in File Explorer, do the following:

  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. Navigate to this key:
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\NoRoam
  5. Delete the Bags subkey here as well. After that close Registry Editor.
  6. Open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc. Locate Windows Explorer from the list of processes, and click the Restart button How to Disable Auto Arrange in Folders in Windows 10 2
  7. Download disable-auto-arrange.zip.
  8. Extract the files from the archive you just downloaded.
  9. Run disableautoarrange.reg to add it to your registry.
  10. Open This PC and close it.
  11. Now repeat Step 6 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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How to disable auto arrange in File Explorer [Method 2]

  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.How to Disable Auto Arrange in Folders in Windows 10 3
  3. If the option is turned off you can easily arrange items in any way you want.

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.

sort file explorer files


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That’s about it, I 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 post was originally published in December 2015 and has been since updated for freshness, and accuracy.

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