Sort by Name not proper for numbered files.

New Contributor

Just trying to understand the logic of OneDrive's "Sort by Name" when it comes to numbers. Take a look at the below. "9-26" shouldn't be coming before "9-3". The number 26 should be perceived as after 3. I cannot honestly say I've seen that issue with other storage services. 


8 Replies
best response confirmed by Drive1000 (New Contributor)
It’s by design. In order to fix it you have to put always ensure your number have 2 digits.
Ex. 2021-9-4 should be 2021-09-04 and then your file will have the proper order.
Thank you, I did consider that but I have thousands of files and will need to figure out a command line to change them all with variables involved. I thought I had resolved it at first with sorting by file creation date but that is not always accurate to the file contents, hence the name scheme.

Hopefully this is something the devs can reconsider.

@Drive1000 In your example, it's not necessarily clear that these are dates. Credit cards and other codes have a similar format numeric dashed format. To sort as you desire, use ISO 8601 date formatting with 2 digit months for unambiguous representation as recommended by most data management authorities.


@Drive1000 It appears File Explorer is not consistent with OneDrive so does anyone know why this is the case?

In what way is it not consistent?
Examples needed.

@Mike Williams Hi, so File Explorer will sort Test2 then Test11, whereas OneDrive will sort Test11 then Test2.

I think the best way to think about this is: Windows Explorer is an app with a smart view on your folder contents. OneDrive hosts files that may be synched or viewed with many different operating system folder views, few of which have the same options as Windows Explorer. For a consistent experience, use padding with zeros to get the same sort order everywhere.

As an example, I put podcasts on a USB stick to listen to in the car. I prefix the files with numbers to get the desired playback order. My car's entertainment system doesn't do numerical ordering so 140xxx would play before 16xxx. I had to change the naming to 0140xx and 0016xx to get the desired ordering.


Similarly desktop operating systems have different allowable filename characters, and OneDrive has to take a lowest common denominator approach to supporting files across all the platforms they can be viewed. 

Thanks Mike!