Is There A Way To STILL Disable Auto Arrange And Align To Grid Options Or Even A Similar Alternate Means In Windows 7?

Posted on 2011-09-05
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hello. I have a question to ask you. I am pretty upset with Windows 7 after learning this:

“Disabling Auto Arrange and Align to Grid is not available in Windows Explorer windows. As a result, users can no longer manually arrange items via drag and drop within a folder; this feature is only available on the desktop.”


Before I even learned what I just stated above, I was trying to do exactly that with a folder on another partition on another drive.  I noticed “Auto arrange” and “Align to grid” disabling capabilities were not shown on the right-click context menu... ...and the first thing that came to mind is that there was some Windows 7 system corruption or  some Windows 7 feature switch for these two options (“Auto arrange” and “Align to grid”) I had to turn on somewhere in the system!!! I know I could do this on Windows Vista. A matter-of-fact, I was a little dismayed for some of the items and actual upset for some to actually see the complete list of items that have been removed from various component parts of Windows 7 on the Wikipedia website I have provided above. (Hey, Windows Vista has a benefit over Windows 7 in some regards!!!)

I have ALWAYS placed files and folders in various directory folders in my own organized grouped/clustered way and I no longer have that capability except for my desktop?!?!?

So, Is there STILL a means or way for me to have either for my Windows 7:

1. modify or hack  the Windows 7 system registry(s) and/or Windows 7 directory(s) in order to either have system wide or specifically configured folder(s), directory(s), partition(s), or hard/system drive(s) to have the option to disable “Auto arrange” and “Align to grid”?

2. installing an alternate third party program (free or paid) that allows for Windows 7 in order to either have system wide or specifically configured folder(s), directory(s), partition(s), or hard/system drive(s) by having the option to disable “Auto arrange” and “Align to grid”?

3. installing an alternate third party program (free or paid) that allows for Windows 7 by having the option to run independently (the third party program's virtual or real folder/area to arrange items the way you want and work with that is independent) from the rest of the active fixed Windows 7 “Auto arrange” and “Align to grid” settings?

Please provide your own best possible well written, detailed and documented website links hopefully with images and demonstrations along with the instructions especially for number 1 above, and/or your personal suggestions, hints, and tips if you can. Thank you!!!

DO NOT USE or similar-like web links in your reply. I consider its use very unprofessional for EE experts. If you do, you will not get acknowledged and receive no credit.

Please reply.

Thank you!
Question by:RegulaOne
  • 2
  • 2
LVL 28

Accepted Solution

burrcm earned 250 total points
ID: 36485751
This appears to cover it, but I am not about to test it. Feel free -

Chris B
LVL 93

Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 250 total points
ID: 36485753
1. I do not know but I do not think so.
2. I use xPlorer2 as my Windows Explorer ( as it provides the functionality I want. There is a free version and free trial of the Pro version which I use. It shows me the real and the network drives across the top, for example.
3. The way xPlorer2 works and saves its data is independent of the Desktop Auto Arrange.

I cannot say xPlorer2 will fit your needs, but it certainly fills mine and I use it all the time.

... Thinkpads_User

Author Comment

ID: 36486747
@ burrcm & thinkpads_user:

Hello. Nice to meet both of you! I appreciate your both responses.

You both provide viable options to my initial comment in answering it with a good solution. burrcm provides a cleaner, easy, and free answer and solution while thinkpads_user provides a nice feature loaded program interface in order to achieve the same desired answer and solution.

I am now going to close this thread, even though I typically leave it open for a minimum of 3 consecutive days to hope to receive a well developed discourse and a greater probably for the "best" likely answer and solution. However, I now already received my desired answer soon after this question/thread was posted on EE, so I will close this thread.

Point awards and solution title awards are next...  

Author Closing Comment

ID: 36486892
@ burrcm & thinkpads_user:

Hello again. Thank you both for your working answers and solutions.

I have tested both your answers and solutions on my system. The cleaner, simpler, free means in order to get the minimalist and original approach to answer my question so Windows 7 appears to me more like my Windows Vista operating system I alluded to. Plus, it is my premise and original intent to restore it back into Windows 7. Regarding the other comment by thinkpads_user, I am very impressed with the sophistication of the paid program xPplorer2 delivers and it will become part of my program arsenal.  However, I also have credence to other alternatives from third party programs as well as I inquired in my initial post and I did not incite my preferred means necessary. Therefore, by rights, both these EE experts comments will receive a equal amount of points or a split of 500 points making each EE experts comment 250 points since each EE expert covered alternate means to answer this issue. However, there can only be ONE "Accepted Solution" for this question/thread per EE rules. I give the "Accepted Solution" to burrcm since my ultimate desire is to restore this same functionality found in Windows Vista and older Windows versions and burrcm's weblink to achieve this is present here. thinkpads_user will get the "Assisted Solution" title for a truly nice, useful, and practical program with intuitive interface that has the control center of Windows Explorer in one location!

Again, thank you for your time and cooperation in this matter!!
LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 36487808
Thank you and I was pleased to assist.  ... Thinkpads_User

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