[Bug] Photos sorted by name are incorrectly sorted



For some time now, and also in the latest version of the server (I have Plex server in Windows, version, sort order in photo library is bugged. 'Sort by name ↑' and 'Sort by name ↓' orders the images exactly as 'Sort by date taken ↑'. Also, as you can see, 'Sort by name' ascending and descending don't change the order.

I'm pretty sure this is a bug in the server and not the viewer app, because I have tried in the Android app and via web with the same results.

This bug makes Plex unusable for many uses, including reading chapters of comics based on a series of images. This is a real example of how Plex show me one chapter I have in my libray when I select 'Order by name' (as far as I know, none of this images have any Exif data):

Even I have tried creating a copy without any properties and personal info (in Windows Explorer, right click in the archives > Properties > Details > Delete properties and personal info), with the same results in Plex.

So… hey Plex people, were you aware of this bug? Are you working in a bugfixed version?
Anyone know a workaround?

Also: Plex doesn't have a bugtracker? Sending bugs via forum doesn't seem appropiate to me.


I posted about this problem but it was in a Plex Pass forum so I will copy part here.
This "should" be a simple operation but I cannot seem to make it work at all:
I have a VERY simple photo library that is all in a single directory and all have names beginning with numbers like "#### - Actual Name.ext." I have run all the files through the Windows properties option to remove all meta data and used the rename option where I ended up with two copies of each file one original and the other named "#### - Actual Name - Copy.ext." The copied files have no meta data in them at all.
I then copied the copies to a new directory and then created a photo library with only that directory as a member.
The problem I am having is that there does not seem to be a way to force the photos to sort in file name order.
Clearly either I or the Windows "Properties" application are not doing something correctly, I just cannot figure what could be going wrong.
I have looked a many of the files' properties on an individual basis and they all have nothing showing in any of the meta data fields.
I just want to sort that picture directory in the order of the file names, does anyone have any ideas?
Thanks in advance!
And the following was later in that thread:
trumpy81 posted
There's probably not much more you can do except sit back and hope it gets sorted (pun intended) soon.
The issue has been reported and the devs are aware of the issue, but as always, I have no idea if/when a fix will be issued.

As you can see they are aware of the problem and, like usual, they will not say when or if it will be fixed but hope springs eternal.


I can confirm now that 'Sort by name' really uses the value contained in the file timestamp 'Date modified'.

Here is a zip with a 'Test' folder with 5 images I have just created.
01.jpg contains a big number 1
02.jpg contains a big number 2
…and so on.

I have created the images in my computer in this order:
01.jpg (older)
03.jpg (younger)

Then I have created a test photo library containing only this images. When I order them 'by name', they are ordered like this:

If I change the timestamp 'Date created' property of each one in Windows (without touching the 'Date modified' value), making the 01 older than 02, etc. the same result happens.

But if I change the timestamp 'Date modified' property, making the 01 older than 02, etc. this happens:


Thanks for posting your question & response, Elijah_Baley. I searched the public forums earlier and I did not find any answer from the developers.

As a workaround, I'm going to change some modified timestamps for some files… but it's a slow and annoying process.


I'm running PlexServer Version on Ubuntu, and this bug is still there. Indeed it is the server that is bugged, since all tested Clients (I-Pad, android phone, Shield, Plex Home Theater, Plex for Windows and the web-Client of the actual server) behave the same.


Easy to see what property it is using to sort by comparing the order with that you can see in Windows Explorer when you display various Dates columns and tap on these.
Quite amazing that such a basic thing does not work since Filename must be used by a great many people to order their photos.
When such a basic feature as this does not work, people will turn away from using the system.
Rather than messing with file timestamps I will just use one of the other options available.

e.g. on my Android Phone or Tablet I use ES File Manager and its Network option to display the files and then simply mirror the screen to my TV with the Cast Screen option of Chromecast.
Another option is to use Solid Explorer File Manager, which handles folder hierarchies well, ordering by Filename, and has a Chromecast facility built-in


Same for me. No sorting by Filename.


Quite Amazing that this bug, in a very basic requirement, has been present for months and still not sorted.

So, I am still using ES File Manager or SE File Manager and Cast Screen from my Android device to display photos on my TV
My favorite picture viewer, Quickpic seems to browse network photos with ESFM OK but not with SEFM, which seems to require its own viewer to browse ( with a screen swipe ). However, if using SEFM, which has a Cast facility built in, I still use the device Screen Cast, rather than its own Cast option, since this changes the photo on the TV faster, with no black screens between the photos. For any of these combinations, there is no filename order problem.

I appreciate that these details are a bit off-topic but may be useful for others who are frustrated with this Plex bug.

If ever Plex sort this out, then I may go back to that.


I have the same problem, since plex doesn't support CBR or comic book formats natively i extracted the archives into images. However it doesn't organize them in any way suitable for reading it page by page. Can we get this feature fixed? If not going to support comic book formats, at least fix the sorting feature for photo's...


Not sorting by name makes Plex unusable for me. Can anyone recommend a better media server?


Discovered this bug just after I bought my PlexPass.
Lucky I found this thread, now I know it's not just me.
Can anyone on Plex fix it? Please...


@Teyburt said:
Not sorting by name makes Plex unusable for me. Can anyone recommend a better media server?

Emby. It has its weaknesses but its photo sorting is perfect by filename.

Plex seems incapable of fixing this simple bug. Actually that is wrong. Plex seems just not to care at all.

Plex says, "If you don't like it then you are doing it wrong."


Are there any updates on this yet? I love plex with the exception of not being able to organize my collections (because of the inability to sort by filename).


Afraid not. This seems to be a bottom-of-the-pile issue with them so never gets addressed.
I do check updates but have lost any confidence that it will ever be corrected.
I guess that nobody at Plex monitors these forums.
I just use Quickpic App now for my Android photos and do a Screen cast if wish to view on my TV .

There is a another long-standing issue with Listing of Videos, which makes its use for that media very inconvenient and that also never gets addressed.

Shame because Plex does have many admirable features.

It would seem that any users associated with the Plex management have there own peculiar way of using it, which is not hampered by these bugs. I wish they would enlighten us with what they do.


Good lord. We can't even sort by name? It's all jumbled for me.


Whilst new users keep discovering this and adding to this appeal, it would appear that PLEX never read it, or if they do, simply ignore it. PerpPLEXing !


Plex does not care! The sorting works EXACTLY the way Plex wants it to and if you want anything different then you are clearly not doing it right.

For Plex it is the Plex way or the highway.

Or, possibly, Plex's programmers are simply incapable of handling sorting of pictures by filename correctly.

BTW: I absolutely know the problem has nothing to do with embedded data because I have removed every bit of embedded data from my photos and the sorting is still totally screwed up.

Sorting by filename is NOT hard at all so my only conclusion is that either Plex does not care or Plex's programmers for this function are totally incompetent.


Every time a new version comes out I check if the bug has been resolved… This bug still exists in the last server's version (

The worst thing is not knowing if the people of Plex are aware of this thread and the bug :(


That "PLEX or the Highway" mentality is what is stopping me from getting a Plex Pass. In fact, I figured out that in my case, PLEX sorts pictures according to the date taken, which is very nice if you have a photo library that is in complete disorder but not if you make photo selections from trips by putting pictures in a folder and reordering them in a way that tells a story by simply renaming the file so that the "alphatbetical" order is the viewing order you want (really by just including a number 0001, 0002, ... in the file name after a common name indicating the trip). Why not offer users the choice to sort sort photo folders based on the date taken or name by default, and having better viewers that also allow to view pictures in a folder by time or by date or maybe other properties?

In fact, I figured this out by reprocessing one of my slide shows in Lighroom omitting all EXIF/XMP data but otherwise generating exactly the same files as one with the EXIF/XMP data included.


Can't sort by name ,can't play Gif. They just doesn't care.