How can I change the order of posts in the admin dashboard, so they display alphabetically according to title, rather than latest first?

2 Answers 2


If you don't wish to always click the "Title" column to sort your posts by title, you can place this code in either your currently active WordPress theme's functions.php file, or within a plugin. This will automatically always sort your posts for you, so you don't have to click the title column every time.

You can use this for setting default sort order on post types.

/* Sort posts in wp_list_table by column in ascending or descending order. */
function custom_post_order($query){
        Set post types.
        _builtin => true returns WordPress default post types. 
        _builtin => false returns custom registered post types. 
    $post_types = get_post_types(array('_builtin' => true), 'names');
    /* The current post type. */
    $post_type = $query->get('post_type');
    /* Check post types. */
    if(in_array($post_type, $post_types)){
        /* Post Column: e.g. title */
        if($query->get('orderby') == ''){
            $query->set('orderby', 'title');
        /* Post Order: ASC / DESC */
        if($query->get('order') == ''){
            $query->set('order', 'ASC');
    add_action('pre_get_posts', 'custom_post_order');

You can use some of these example conditions...

/* Effects all post types in the array. */
if(in_array($post_type, $post_types)){


/* Effects only a specific post type in the array of post types. */
if(in_array($post_type, $post_types) && $post_type == 'your_post_type_name'){


/* Effects all post types in the array of post types, except a specific post type. */
if(in_array($post_type, $post_types) && $post_type != 'your_post_type_name'){


If you wanted to apply this sorting on ALL post types, regardless of whether or not they are "built-in"...

Change this: $post_types = get_post_types(array('_builtin' => true), 'names');

To this: $post_types = get_post_types('', 'names');

  • Is it ok to use within the function rather than check before the action if ( ! is_admin ) { return; }
    – urok93
    Sep 30, 2012 at 21:07
  • I suppose you could do that. Oct 1, 2012 at 15:13
  • You must add a "return $query;" before function end, otherwise this will not work in later wordpress editions.
    – Jobst
    Apr 20, 2017 at 2:38
  • I think a plugin is running this function and overriding my custom function. Is there a hook to ensure that my code is run rather than the plugins? Aug 20, 2018 at 11:23

Ah, click that little title thingy to toggle alphabetical sorting....

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