Strange sorting

Steps to reproduce

  • Create the following notes: zzM7, zzM8, zzM701
  • Watch them out of order in the file explorer (see image below)

Expected result

I expected all files prefixed with zzM7 to come before anything prefixed with zzM8 as 7 should alphabetically come before 8.

Actual result

As image below shows, the zzM8 comes before the zzM701 note.


  • Operating system: macOS Mojave
  • Debug info:
    Obsidian version: v1.0.3
    Installer version: v1.0.0
    Operating system: Darwin Kernel Version 18.7.0: Tue Jun 22 19:37:08 PDT 2021; root:xnu-4903.278.70~1/RELEASE_X86_64 18.7.0
    Login status: not logged in
    Insider build toggle: off
    Live preview: off
    Legacy editor: off
    Base theme: dark
    Community theme: none
    Snippets enabled: 1
    Restricted mode: off
    Plugins installed: 9
    Plugins enabled: 0

Custom theme and snippets: for cosmetic issues, please first try updating your theme and disabling your snippets. If still not fixed, please try to make the issue happen in the Sandbox Vault or disable community theme and snippets.

Additional information


Not a bug, Windows is sorting in the same way.

This is all a matter of preferences.

For the safest no-confusion alphanumeric sorting, you need to make sure your files have the same number of digits.


1 Like

How is this not a bug? Is it not a bug due to it being present on multiple platforms?

Has there been made a choice in Obsidian to use natural sort order instead of alphanumeric sorting in the file explorer? (See Natural sort order - Wikipedia)

In the image below I’ve expanded my example with some more text in front and/or after, in addition to the correct alphanumeric sort order from both a dataview query, and from the sorted output on the command line in bash. Both in disagreement with how the file explorer shows this list.

(And in reply to @AlanG, I can’t change to zzM007, as it’s part of larger pattern, and zzM7 is and should be a prefix of zzM701. It’s not a number, but a proper alphanumeric pattern sequence)


Further searching when thinking “natural sort order”, reveals Natural Order sorting of files names in file explorer . So indeed there has been made a choice to use natural sort order within Obsidian, which I wasn’t expecting, but I guess my voice doesn’t count much in this regards then.

This request does then indeed belong in the bug-graveyard, and I’ve got an issue related to how to rearrange my (imported) vault, as I’ve based the file names on alphanumeric sorting. Bummer.


As WhiteNoise already said, this is how files are sorted on Windows.


Comparing it to Dataview doesn’t mean much because that is a 3rd party plugin.

You could open a Feature Request and request that alphanumeric sort be added as an option. That previous thread seems to be using opposite terms, requesting Natural sort but asking for the same thing you are. So I’m a bit confused trying to read that thread.

Anyway, it doesn’t mean you don’t have a voice, or the freedom to make a feature request. All it means is that it isn’t an unexpected bug, and this bug report has been closed. Please consider opening that Feature Request.