How to Sort Files by Grouping in Windows Vista

Wading through a large collection of files in Windows Vista can be time consuming. Whether you're looking at a huge list of search results or a large folder, such as Documents, you can save yourself some time by sorting the files by group.

Windows Explorer can group files together based on any of its sort columns in Details view. The biggest timesaver of these is probably grouping by Type.

  1. Open a folder in Details view.

    Try the Documents folder since it can contain several different kinds of files.

  2. Click the Type column header.

    The list of files gets sorted by file Type.

  3. Click the down-arrow next to the column heading Type and choose Group.

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    Explorer breaks up the list based on file type. Looking at groups of files of similar type frequently makes it easier to pinpoint the file you want.

Don't forget that you can also group by Name and Date as well. If you group by name, for example, Explorer breaks the alphabetized list into five groups: 0 through 9, A through H, I through P, Q through Z, and “Other” (for files that start with non-alphanumeric characters).

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