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Undo File Explorer Default Download Grouping (1903 and later versions)

For some odd reason or another, in the wake of upgrading to the May 2019 Update (aka 1903), users will find their Downloads organized by date in that folder. For some users this may work. Other users may want to undo File Explorer default download grouping. It’s surprisingly easy, actually. Here’s what users will see after the 1903 upgrade when they visit the Downloads folder:

Undo File Explorer Default Download Grouping.groups-showing

Notice that files are grouped by date recency (Last week, Earlier this month, Last month, …)”
[Click image for full sized view.]

How to Undo File Explorer Default Download Grouping

As it happens this layout is a function of a View setting in Explorer itself. By default it appears to apply only to the built-in Downloads folder. Here’s a visualization of what you must do to restore the Downloads folder to its customary or prior appearance.

Undo File Explorer Default Download Grouping.steps

Changing the “Group-by” setting on the View tab does the trick.”
[Click image for full sized view.]

The verbal explanation goes as follows:
1. Open File Explorer
2. Click the View Tab
3. On the ribbon, click the down arrow next to Group by
4. From the resulting pick list that appears, choose (None) [Notice that a bullet appears to the left of Date modified, to show it is the currently selected setting.]

It’s really quite simple. That’s all there is to it. As with most minor frustrations in Windows, the secret to dealing with them is knowing where they come from and how to work with them. Consider this a case in point!

[NOTE] Here’s a shout-out to TenForums user Ztruker, whose post yesterday reminded me of this issue (I’d already fixed it manually on all of my 1903 PCs). Thanks again!

Author: Ed Tittel

Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran. He’s a Princeton and multiple University of Texas graduate who’s worked in IT since 1981 when he started his first programming job. Over the past three decades he’s also worked as a manager, technical evangelist, consultant, trainer, and an expert witness. See his professional bio for all the details.

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