How to Perform a Deep Sort in Windows 10

By Andy Rathbone

Windows 10 offers users so many options for sorting their information. A folder’s Details view arranges your filenames into a single column, with oodles of detail columns flowing off to the right. You can sort a folder’s contents by clicking the word atop any column: Name, Date Modified, Author, and so on. But the sort features in Windows go much deeper, as you’ll notice when clicking the little downward-pointing arrow that appears as you hover your mouse pointer over each column’s name.

Click the little arrow to the right of the words Date Modified, for example, and a calendar drops down. Click a date, and the folder quickly displays files modified on that particular date, filtering out all the rest. Beneath the calendar, check boxes also let you view files created Today, Yesterday, Last Week, Earlier This Month, Earlier This Year, or simply A Long Time Ago. (The available check boxes change depending on the age of the files inside your currently viewed folder.)

Similarly, click the arrow next to the Authors column header, and a drop-down menu lists the authors of every document in the folder. Select the check boxes next to the author names you’d like to see, and Windows immediately filters out files created by other people, leaving only the matches. (This feature works best with Microsoft Office documents.)

These hidden filters can be dangerous, however, because you can easily forget that you’ve turned them on. If you spot a check mark next to any column header, you’ve left a filter turned on, and the folder is hiding some of its files. To turn off the filter and see all that folder’s files, deselect the check box next to the column header and examine the drop-down menu. Click any selected check boxes on that drop-down menu to remove their check marks and remove the filter.