Windows 11

Best 7 Fixes When the File Explorer Sort Button Is Greyed Out

Performing a system restore will help to fix this error

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Windows File Explorer is crucial in the complex file management web, helping you arrange and traverse your digital environments. Nevertheless, the smooth operation of organizing files and folders can be interfered with when you encounter the confusing problem of a greyed-out File Explorer sort button in your Windows 11 device. This is a problem that affects many Windows users worldwide.

Learning about various workarounds when facing this error is crucial, as sorting choices are essential for preserving accessibility and order. This post will explore the world of troubleshooting to provide the finest solutions for solving the mystery of a File Explorer sort button that is greyed out.

1. Ensure You Are Not in the Home Folder

When the File Explorer sort option is greyed out, ensuring you are not in the Home folder can be critical. Files are frequently arranged in a preset sequence in the Home folder, and some sorting options might not be available. You can modify your sorting choices by navigating to a directory or folder other than the Home folder.

The sort button should appear once you are in a certain folder. From there, you can rearrange the files according to name, date, or file type, among other criteria. The greyed-out sort button in File Explorer may be disabled with this easy-to-use yet powerful fix, allowing you to arrange your files however you see fit.

2. Restart the Computer

If the problem of the File Explorer sort button being greyed out occurs, restarting the computer can be a quick and easy fix. Interactions between different operating systems or transient bugs could be the source of this issue.

Restarting the system enables different components to be reset and reinitialized, which may resolve any temporary issues affecting the File Explorer’s functionality. Follow the steps below to restart your device.

  1. Press Windows + X to open the Power User menu.
  2. Next, hover your mouse on the Shut down or sign out option, then select Restart.
    Greyed Out File Explorer Sort Button Windows 11
  3. Once your device is on, check if the error has been fixed.

3. Restart Windows Explorer

Because the File Explorer interface depends on Windows Explorer processes for optimal operation, occasionally, glitches or temporary problems may render some functionalities inoperable. In this case, restarting Windows Explorer may fix any underlying software problems causing the greyed-out sort button. Follow the steps below to learn how to do this.

  1. Hold Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager.
  2. Look for Windows Explorer, right-click on it, and select End task.
    Greyed Out File Explorer Sort Button Windows 11
  3. Click on File at the top, and choose Run new task.
  4. In the next dialogue box, enter explorer.exe in the text field, then click OK.
    Greyed Out File Explorer Sort Button Windows 11
  5. Doing this will help restart File Explorer.

4. Reset Windows Explorer to Default Settings

When the File Explorer sort button becomes greyed out, resetting Windows Explorer to factory settings is usually a useful troubleshooting step. One possible cause of this error is a faulty setup or configuration. You might potentially solve the issue by reverting any customized settings to their default condition. The steps below will show you how to do this.

  1. Press Windows + S to bring up the Search bar, input File Explorer in the text field, then select the relevant option.
    Greyed Out File Explorer Sort Button Windows 11
  2. Next, click the three tiny dots at the top right corner of your screen, and choose Options.
  3. Navigate to the View tab, then click the Reset Folders button to reset Windows Explorer to its default settings.
  4. In the confirmation pop-up menu click Yes.
    Greyed Out File Explorer Sort Button Windows 11
  5. Lastly, click the Restore Defaults button, and click OK to complete the process.
    Greyed Out File Explorer Sort Button Windows 11
  6. To reset the File Explorer cache, follow the steps below.
  7. Press Windows + R to open the Run dialogue, type Powershell in the text field, then hold Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open Powershell as an administrator.
  8. Next, input the command below and hit Enter.
    kill -n explorer

5. Repair Image and System File Corruption

The File Explorer sort button being greyed out can be resolved by fixing image and system file corruption. The error could result from damaged system files or image components that affect File Explorer’s functionality.

Corrupted files can be found and fixed with built-in tools like the System File Checker (SFC) and Deployment Imaging Service and Management Tool (DISM). These tools can help restore system file integrity and fix Windows image components. The steps below will show you how to use these tools.

  1. Hold Windows + R to bring up the Run dialogue, type cmd in the text field, then hold Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open the command prompt as an administrator.
    Greyed Out File Explorer Sort Button Windows 11
  2. Once in the command prompt, input the command below and hit Enter.
    sfc /scannow
  3. Input the next command below, and hit Enter.
    dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth
    Greyed Out File Explorer Sort Button Windows 11
  4. After running these programs, check to see if the File Explorer button works now.

6. Uninstall Recent Windows Updates

The File Explorer’s functionality, especially the sort button, may occasionally be affected by compatibility problems or defects introduced by upgrades. You can potentially resolve conflicts causing the greyed-out sort button by removing recent updates and returning the system to a previous state before the problematic update was installed. The steps below will show you how to do this.

  1. Open the Settings app by pressing Windows + I simultaneously.
  2. Navigate to Windows Update, then click on Update history.
  3. Select Uninstall updates.
    Greyed Out File Explorer Sort Button Windows 11
  4. Look for the most recent update, then choose Uninstall.

7. Perform a System Restore

You can also use system restore to return the operating system to a prior configuration, thereby reversing any changes resulting from the greyed-out sort button. Potential conflicts or modifications that may be the source of the problem can be fixed by returning the system to a point where the File Explorer functioned properly. Follow the instructions below to carry out a system restore.

  1. Press the Windows button to open the Search bar, type control panel in the text field, and choose the relevant option.
  2. From the View by option, choose Large icons, then select Recovery.
    Greyed Out File Explorer Sort Button Windows 11
  3. Next, choose Open System Restore.
  4. Now click the radio button to Choose a different restore point option, then click Next.
  5. Choose a restore point that goes back before encountering the error, then click Next.
    Greyed Out File Explorer Sort Button Windows 11
  6. Select Finish to complete the process.
  7. After restoring your PC to an earlier state, check to see if the problem has been fixed.

Concluding Remarks

Following this guide, you should be confident enough to resolve errors associated with the greyed-out File Explorer sort button on your Windows 11 device. Carefully follow the steps outlined in this article to get a positive result.

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David Ogbor
David is a tech guru with extensive knowledge in technical articles. He is passionate about writing and presents technical articles in an easy-to-understand format for easy comprehension. He aims to present easy solutions for day-to-day problems encountered while using PC. In his spare time, he likes traveling, playing sports, and singing.