What's the difference between "Sort by" and "Arrange by"?

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by AmbientChaos, Jun 26, 2014.

  1. AmbientChaos macrumors member


    Feb 11, 2014
    I'd like icons to be arranged alphabetically in icon view, however there are two ways to arrange icons: "Arrange by" and "Sort by". What's the difference? Is one better than another?
  2. Yakibomb macrumors 6502


    May 13, 2014
    Cape Town
    Do you mean "Sort by" and "Clean up by"?

    'Clean up by' arranges the icons however you've chosen but the icons are not lock into their positions, you can manually more and arrange them. Whereas 'Sort by' locks the icons into place, so even if you add more items to that folder they will automatically be put into place.

    Hope i've got them the right way around
  3. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    "Arrange By" is how they're divided up. Like, if you say "By Kind" then all your JPEGs will be together and all your MP3s will be together.

    Then, within that, "Sort By" is how they're listed. So you could have all MP3s together by alphabetical or by date.

    It sounds like you want "Arrange By" to be set to "None" and then "Sort By" to be "Name."
  4. AmbientChaos thread starter macrumors member


    Feb 11, 2014
    Thanks, that clears things up. I did some experimentation and after things worked for me I set it as the default.

    The reason I was worried about this was because in Lion, if I used a Sort over Arrange (or the other way around, I can't remember), switching from icon view to details view took noticeably longer. So I just wanted to make sure I understood the behavior correctly. Thanks!

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