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Teaching Windows to Sort Favorites and Programs Alphabetically

Originally written 20070201

This article was originally written to fix one of the few annoyances of using Microsoft Windows 98. These instructions have been tested to sort the Favorites and Programs menus for Microsoft Windows 2003 Server. These instructions should also work for Microsoft Windows XP and Microsoft Windows Vista, but those operating systems cause enough pain that the inability to find entries in menus may not be noticed.

Microsoft taught Windows98 to sort the Favorites and Programs so the last entry created shows at the bottom of the list. I find this to be incredibly annoying. I know the alphabet. I learned my ABCs when I was very young. I do not want to remember the order that I installed programs or the order I bookmarked a Favorite. This article is how to teach Windows98 to forget the order the entries were added so the lists default to using alphabetical order.

Technically. the order is the ASCII character set with all letters of the alphabet converted to lowercase. The order of valid characters is:
!#$%&'()+,-.0123456789;= SPACE @[]^_ `abcdefghijklmno pqrstuvwxyz{}~

Download these three files:
Download Registry Fixer
Download Batch File
Download StartUp File

To fix the menus once, double-click the Registry Fixer file (WinSort.reg) and close the black window.

To fix the menus every time Windows boots:
1. Place the first two files (WinSort.reg and WinSort.bat) in:
2. Place the StartUp file (WINSORT.PIF) in:
C:\WINDOWS\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp (for Windows 98 and Me)
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Startup (for Windows XP, 2003, and Vista).

A black window will appear each time Windows boots, and entries on the Programs menu and the Favorites menu will be sorted alphabetically.

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