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Change individual folder views unattendedly.

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I would like to change just a fiew folder views like program files and such without changing all the folders views. Is there a way to do this with the registry. Are views even stored in the registry or are they just cached in a file someplace. If cached somewhere can i create the folders how i want and then have that file copied over during installation?

Edited by cumminbk
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The view settings for folders are stored in a few registry keys. The only way to know for sure which of these keys and values get modified when changing a folder's view is to get to a clean system state. First, clear the following registry values:


delete the value "Shellstate"

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Cabine­t State

delete the value "Settings"

Then, delete the following registry keys:







Reboot for effect.

Now, set all folders to a default view, then use a tool like inctrl5 or regmon to watch the registry changes that occur when you actually set a folder's view state (most folder settings changes are written somewhere in the \BagMRU subkeys, for a reference point - not all, but most). Once you see what changed, go into the registry and back up the changed key or value to a .reg file. Repeat for each folder you'd like to change, exporting each change to a separate .reg file.

Once you've gotten all of your registry changes exported to .reg files, combine them all into one larger .reg file using a text editor (like notepad or wordpad), and you can then merge that into your new installations or other machines in order to set the registry keys that will control folder views.

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How is it that when i set a folders view to list, ill have to reset it back to that view again when i go into that folder from a different root?

For example i open C:\Program Files from a shortcut i have in my quick launch bar which opens the D:\ drive. I then navigate to the C:\Program Files folder from there and every time i do its in thumbnail view when i want it as list. Not thumbnails, not tiles or icons or details but plain and simple "list"

And i want it to stay like that!

If i navigate to the C:\Program Files folder from say opening up My Computer then, again, THUMBNAIL views arrghh!!!

It gets worse, sometimes il open a folder and itll be in list view and other times its not, whats that all about??

Is there a way of setting a folders view to "stay" in list view instead of changing how it want LOL :hello:

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The CurrentVersion\Explorer keys don't even change on me in my tampering with this.

You also have to watch

HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21- YOUR SID\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ShellNoRoam\Bags

and a couple others there. The all folders applied won't work without the "Mode"=dword:00000003 down there also.

Its fruitless to try and achieve just a couple folders like your asking or next to impossible.

They change in a weird way as i've noticed because I almost have it where I can get applied listview on all folders.

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There is also the issue of resolution. Change your resolution and a new Bag/BagMRU is created, that maintains only some of the previous settings.

I have managed to narrow down the settings for ONE window and a certain resolution. Even with the NoSaveSettings flag on, I find that after a few days the window settings still get mucked up. But I just re-import the settings and they assert themselves again.

If the above is of interest I'll post my settings although they won't be of much use to you. You'd still have to monitor your own changes and create you own tweak file.


Yea i am beginning to understand this is an impossable task. thanks for all who have provided imput though and please if you do come across an method that works please share it. thanks again
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I think it exist a not complicated solution because, in windows xp home for example the default mode is icons (with comments under) and on windows 2003 sbs the default mode is details mode ... I think Microsoft don't import/tweaks directly the Bags key ...

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The streams/Bag/MRU key entries are only created and numbered each time you open a folder so they're all different among each install. The lists get longer and longer.

It may be possible on a clean install to only open a few folders and immediately export the reg keys as outlined above. But I don't know if it'll work.

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Just done a fresh install XP Pro and Listview on all folders was working.

I first deleted all

HKEY_CURRENT_USER, "Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags"

HKEY_CURRENT_USER, "Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\BagMRU"

HKEY_CURRENT_USER, "Software\Microsoft\Windows\ShellNoRoam\Bags"

HKEY_CURRENT_USER, "Software\Microsoft\Windows\ShellNoRoam\BagMRU"

and the same keys in


applied Listview all folders and tracked changes.

Theres a couple other keys change so need them also

HKEY_USERS\YOUR SID\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Streams]

HKEY_USERS\YOUR SID\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Streams\Defaults]

Then assembled my reg file from the changes and fact I replace my SID in HKEY_USERS on install.

May be forgetting something there but its most of it.

I very much dislike that Tile view in Explorer when I load up so this is nice if its possible and it applied this time. Take some more testing.

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  • 1 year later...

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