File Explorer, the location in Windows where you pluck out your files that have been saved, would naturally get a bit messy if there wasn’t anything in place to help sort your files.

You might not know it yet just by looking at it, but your files are ordered in numerical order should multiple numbers exist. In other words, the file name “2” would appear after file name “1” since the number two comes after 1 in our wonderful world of numbers.

Like with just about anything else, that’ll be helpful to many but it won’t suit all people, and some would prefer it not to be displayed in numerical order. Windows 10 makes it possible for you to achieve that by making a change in the Local Group Policy Editor.

Note: you can only use the Local Group Policy Editor on a computer that runs on an edition of Windows 10 above that of Windows 10 Home such as Windows 10 Professional, Enterprise or Education. There is no such thing as a group policy on the Home edition, and that’s why you can’t open the editor with that edition of Windows to date. You can upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro by heading to the Settings application if you want to be able to make changes to group policies.

How to Enable or Disable Numerical Sorting in File Explorer in Windows 10

You can enable or disable the numerical sorting in the File Explorer by opening the Local Group Policy Editor. There’s no other method available from the Settings application, Control Panel or anything else at this time. To get started, open the Local Group Policy Editor. There are multiple ways to do that. The quickest is by typing “gpedit.msc” into the search field found in the taskbar and then clicking on the result that appears under the Best match section.

Now that the Local Group Policy Editor is open, navigate to the Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\File Explorer path by using the left side pane. Next, look in the right side pane and scroll down until you get to the “Turn off numerical sorting in File Explorer” and highlight it by clicking on it once. You’ll now see the link to edit the “policy settings” available in the middle column that you need to click on next.

You’ve now got the “Turn off numerical sorting in File Explorer” policy window open. By default it’s set to be “Not configured, ” and when you apply that logic to the name of the policy, you’ll understand why that means it’s currently on and not off. So to change that, you need to select the “Enabled” option instead by clicking on that and moving the checkmark to that location. When done, click on the “OK” button at the bottom of the policies window.

Four different types of Group Policies can be applied—administrators only, all users, specific users or groups, or all users except administrators—and the way you do them varies. You’ll still need to be signed in to a user account that has the administrative permissions assigned to it before you can use any of the four options though.

Windows has a Multiple Local Group Policy to help manage computers that are not part of a domain. There are four Local Group Policy Objects (LGPOs) that make up the Multiple Local Group Policy. They are the Local Computer Policy, Administrators Local Group Policy, Non-Administrators Local Group Policy, and a User-Specific Local Group Policy.

All users: The Local Group Policy Editor for all users can be opened by using the Run dialog box, the search field from the taskbar, the Command Prompt and from the PowerShell by using any of the methods available in this guide.

Specific users or groups: The User-Specific LGPO applies user policy settings to specific local users. To do it, you need to press the Windows logo + R keys on your keyboard and then type “MMC” into the field and clicking on the “OK” button. Click “Yes” when prompted by User Account Control. Now in Microsoft Management Console, click on “File,” followed by “Add/Remove snap-in” from the menu. Choose the “Local Group Policy Editor” and click on the “Add” button. From the Select Group Policy Object window, click on the “Browse” button. Next, click on the “Users” tab and then choose the account name from the list, followed by the “OK” button. You’ll then be directed back to the Group Policy Wizard where you can click on the ‘Finish” button.

All non-administrators: The Non-Administrators LGPO applies user policy settings to anyone who is not an administrator/included in a group of administrators. To do it, you need to press the WIndows logo + R keys on your keyboard and then type “MMC” into the field and clicking on the “OK” button. Click “Yes” when prompted by User Account Control. Now in Microsoft Management Console, click on “File,” followed by “Add/Remove snap-in” from the menu. Choose the “Local Group Policy Editor” and click on the “Add” button. From the Select Group Policy Object window, click on the “Browse” button. Next, click on the “Users” tab and then choose the “Non-Administrators” group and click on the “OK” button. Lastly, click on the “Finish” button from the Group Policy Wizard screen.

Administrators: The Administrators LGPO applies policy settings to users who are members of the administrator’s group. To do it, you need to press the Windows logo + R keys on your keyboard and then type “MMC” into the field and clicking on the “OK” button. Click “Yes” when prompted by User Account Control. Now in Microsoft Management Console, click on “File,” followed by “Add/Remove snap-in” from the menu. Choose the “Local Group Policy Editor” and click on the “Add” button. From the Select Group Policy Object window, click on the “Browse” button. Next, click on the “Users” tab and then choose the “Administrators” group and click on the “OK” button. You’ll then be directed back to the Group Policy Wizard where you can click on the “Finish” button.


People have been sorting worksheets in Microsoft Excel in alphabetical order for years, and the same philosophy has been carried over to the File Explorer: put things in order, so it becomes easier to sift through. But not all things people are doing will prefer the numbers being in order from smallest to largest, so you can turn it off whenever you like if you have a version of Windows 10 that has the Group Policy.

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