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I thought the circles were listed in alphabetical order, and started prefixing them like "1-Family", "3-Acquaintances", "9-Strangers" but now I added a "5" which is listed last in the circles screen and in dropdown lists.

What's the sorting logic, and can it be influenced?
(Of course this could be a feature they're still working on.)

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4 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Just announced: You can now manually re-order your Circles.

Announcement on Google+ by a Google Engineer, with video

It's now basically as easy as:

  • Go to your Circles tab
  • Drag and drop the circles into whatever order you wish.

Left to right will appear highest to lowest on the sidebar when viewing your stream and wherever else your circles list appears.

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Yes, I just saw that too. Great! This makes my question obsolete :) –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Jul 29 '11 at 20:40
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The short answer is you can't.

There are some articles that claim if you rename the circles and prefix the names with 1,2,3, etc that will reorder them. I have tried this and it doesn't work (and judging by most of the comments it doesn't work for anyone else either).

I would imagine it is still in development or they haven't thought of implementing it. Either way I would suggest that you submit feedback just to make sure.

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Yes, I can confirm that numbering or any other naming scheme doesn't work. I hadn't seen it claimed in articles but thought of it myself. Oddly, the creation order also doesn't determine the list order. Submitting feedback is the best advice for now. –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Jul 20 '11 at 19:13
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Ordering circles in G+ in a browser doesn't work, but prefixing them with numbers will change their order in the mobile app. It'll look like garbage in a web browser then because you'll have a bunch of out-of-order numbers, but if your main access to G+ is via the mobile app then it may be enough.

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Interesting! I have the iPhone app but didn't notice that it's alphabetical. –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Jul 21 '11 at 20:56
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You can re-order (sort of) if you are willing to do it manually.

You'll notice that the circles are positioned in the order that you created them. If you want them re-ordered, you need to delete them and recreate them in the order you want them. It's a pain in the butt but it works. Happily when you create a replicate circle, you can drag the members from the first into the new group and then delete the original circle.

It took me about five minutes to do this with 10 circles.

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