written by Wyatt Zacharias

Windows Re-Sorting Directory Every Time

Something that’s been annoying me ever since I started using a new Windows 10 desktop is that every time I would open my Downloads folder, which usually contains several hundred random items inside, Windows would take upwards of 5 seconds each time to sort the directory by date. This was the first time I had ever seen behaviour like this, and although my first instinct was to think the number of files in the folder was slowing it down, a couple hundred files is virtually nothing. After flipping through several windows forum posts where “expert contributors” were suggesting everything from virus scans to full re-installs I came across one single post that had the killer detail I was looking for. That detail was make sure the column you are sorting is “Date Modified” and not just “Date”. If one was not looking closely it’s easy to see how this could be missed, and if you don’t have both the “Date” and “Date Modified” columns set to be visible, you could just assume that the “Date” column was the Windows default, and the right choice. The explanation given in the forum post is that “Date Modified” is a file attribute attached to the file, while “Date” is not, and thus has to be calculated by Windows every time the directory is opened.