How to Change the Default Sort Order of the Articles in Joomla’s Backend

Note: This post applies to both Joomla 2.5 and Joomla 3.x.
Warning: This post requires that you make a simple modification to a core Joomla file, which means that the next time you update Joomla, your changes might get overwritten and you will need to re-apply them.

We have many clients that literally have thousands of articles. One of the major annoyances that these clients experience is that, when they go to the Articles pages in Joomla’s backend (by going to Content -> Article Manager), the articles are sorted by title, and not by creation date.

Sorting by title is OK when you only have a few articles on your Joomla website, but if you’re adding 20 articles a day, then it becomes a problem. You will need the articles to be sorted by creation date descending. Of course, you can always click on the Date header twice in the Article Manager page to sort by creation date descending, but that’s not very efficient, is it?

Now, unfortunately, there is not a single setting in Joomla that allows the administrator to change the default sorting anywhere in the backend. So, to address this problem for our clients, we have done the following:

  • We opened the file articles.php located under the administrator/components/com_content/models folder.
  • We changed the following line (located in the populateState function):

    parent::populateState('a.title', 'asc');


    parent::populateState('a.created', 'desc');

  • We saved the file and uploaded it back.

  • That fixed the problem!

As we have mentioned in the beginning of the post, this fix is a core change. So, if you’re uncomfortable with that, don’t do it!

Final note: The above solution can be applied to nearly any view in Joomla where default ordering is the problem. Just open the associated model file (under the models directory of the component in question), and change the default ordering in the populateState function.

If you need help implementing the above solution, then please contact us. Our fees are super affordable, our work is professional and clean, and we’ll definitely have fun working together!

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