Sorting files alphabetically on FAT filesystems (USB disks, SD cards)

When using hardware devices to play music from SD cards or USB disks, you may find that they play files in non-alphabetical order. In my case, the Pioneer AVIC-F940BT device in my car showed and played MP3 files in almost alphabetical order. The problem here is that these SD cards and USB disks use the FAT filesystem. They read the contents of the file allocation table as is, and do not perform sorting of their own. This means that the playing order is based on the order in which the directories and files were copied to the disk or card.

Luckily there is a way to sort these files again. For Windows, there is a program called FatSorter that works perfectly. Download from here if the previous link does not work. Select the drive or folder you want to sort and wait a few seconds/minutes for it to finish.


9 thoughts on “Sorting files alphabetically on FAT filesystems (USB disks, SD cards)

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Biju Mathews

    January 17, 2015 at 7:58am

    Is their program for the MAC ?

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply


      September 5, 2015 at 8:21pm

      Apparently THERE does not appear to be a version of this for Mac. But I bet you could find a FAT sorter for linux which could be used in OS X via the Terminal if you dig around a bit.
      You could also set up boot camp or at least a Windows based VM- that’s what I do… I may not use it much, but occasionally I require the functions of Windows only software.

  2. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    zafer simsek

    June 23, 2015 at 3:44pm

    thanks for your effort about fat sorter.
    Sincerely yours,

  3. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 22, 2016 at 8:25am

    I want to download this programm, but the second link doesn’t work, and the first one leads to [link removed]. And I do not undersdand how to downloand FAT Sorter. So could you plese help me?

  4. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    May 9, 2016 at 6:19am

    I’ve used this program a lot and it is simply not very reliable. Very common for it to totally make a mess or the ordering and lately it has mixed everything up every time.

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