How to adjust the default column displays in Windows Explorer Screens

I would like to change the default appreance of my columns when using Windows Explorer Screen. It bothers me that I can't find a way to change which columns appear by default each time I open a new window.

I want to display more or less than the default. Each time I open a new session window with Explorer, it displays Date Modified, Type, Size, and Tags by default.
I know how to add or remove a column, but it's a pain when you have to do it each time especially if I've got more than 10 windows open at a time. 
There is some great information available especially with Media content like Music, Videos or Pictures. There are a lot of categories to choose from that have to be pulled up manually such as BitRate, Author, Dimensions, Date Aquired, Date  Modified,  etc....

Is there a way to change this so that by default I can choose which columns to display by default. Not to have to adjust them each time I open a new window.

This is a 64 bit version of Vista Ulitimate but if there's an answer, I would think it applies to all Vista OS....
Answer
Answer
Hello Chuckbytes,

 Thank you for using Microsoft Windows Vista Forums.

 Sorry you are having a problem with this!  I have added some steps below to change the view for all folders.  Please let us know status.  Thanks!

 - open an explore window  (Right click on Start and choose "Explore")
- on the upper left hand side you will see a button/dropdown list called "Organize"
- Click on the down arrow and choose "Folder Search and Option"
- This will open a window that should look familiar
- On the "General" Tab you can change how the folder contents look
- Click on the "View" Tab and you can change what is hidden or not and apply all changes to all folders.
James Microsoft Answers Support Engineer Visit our Microsoft Answers Feedback Forum and let us know what you think.

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Hello Chuckbytes,

Thank you for posting.  I have a resolution to your problem.  This fix involves modifying the Registry.  If you are not comfortable changing the registry then do not do these steps.  Also always make a back-up of your registry before doing any changes. 
These steps are courtesy of Koroush Ghazi of Tweakguides
Please let me know if this helps you.

Modifying REGISTRY settings incorrectly can cause serious problems that may prevent your computer from booting properly. Microsoft cannot guarantee that any problems resulting from the configuring of REGISTRY settings can be solved. Modifications of these settings are at your own risk

Constantly Changing Folder Views


For example you may set your \Users\[username]\Downloads directory to display in Details view, however if you copy a picture, song or video into the directory, the next time you view its contents they may be displaying in Large Icons view. Even if you go back and change the view type, it may reset itself once again the next time you place a different file type in that directory.

Solution


Open the Registry Editor - 
Go to the following keys:


[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags]


[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\BagMRU]


Right-click on the Bags key in the left pane and select Delete, then do the same thing for BagMRU. This will remove most existing customizations for things like window sizes, positions and views. While still in the same place in the Registry Editor, you will need to manually recreate one of these keys with a new setting. Right-click on the following key in the left pane:


[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell]


Create a new key called Bags to replace the one you just deleted. Right-click on Bags, select New>Key and name this new key AllFolders. Right-click on AllFolders, select New>Key and name this new key Shell. The end result should look like this:


[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\ Windows\Shell\Bags\AllFolders\Shell]


Now left-click on the last Shell key and in the right pane right-click in an empty area and select New>String Value. Name this new string FolderType and once created, double-click on it and in the Value Data box you can set the default view which all folders will initially take (unless otherwise specified) by entering one of the following values:


NotSpecified
Contacts
Documents
Music
Pictures


For example if you enter Documents in the FolderType Value Data box (which I recommend), then all folders for which you do not manually set a view will default to the standard Documents folder view as you set it.


Now in Windows Explorer go to your \Users\[username]\ directory and for each of the main folder types under there (Documents, Pictures, Music, Videos), make sure that you set the view you wish, including things like choosing which columns to show and how wide they each are, the size of any icons/thumbnails, the way in which they are sorted, etc. As you make the changes, for each folder click the Organize button at the top of Windows Explorer, select 'Folder and Search Options', go to the View tab and click the 'Apply to Folders' button. This will set this view for all folders of that same type, and this method also means that should you copy files of any other type into a folder, it will not alter that folder's view settings - from now on the settings should remain exactly as you leave them.


Update: There is one more step which can help ensure these settings remain fixed. Go to the following key:


[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell]


Left-click on the Shell key and in the right pane, if you can see BagMRU Size then there is no need to undertake this step. If it isn't there however, right-click and select New>DWORD 32-bit Value and name it BagMRU Size. Now set this value to 10000 in Decimal view (or 2710 in Hexadecimal view).

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Last updated January 9, 2021 Views 17,526 Applies to: