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Published 12th September 2008 by

Force pesky Windows Vista to remember your folder settings once you have set them how you prefer, not how it thinks you should be viewing files.

One of the biggest problems I have with Vista is the fact that it will not remember folder settings when I set the folder views as I like to view my files. For example, if I go into my download folder I have details view with Filename, Date Modified, Type and Size columns. If I download media (a picture, audio or video) Vista automatically assumes that I want to change the way the folder is viewed and shows me thumbnails, or asks me to tag and rate everything. You can use the Views menu to set it back to details view, change the columns by right clicking on the column headings then once you have it setup as you want, click on the "Apply to All Folders" button. This does absolutely nothing, and if you go out the folder and back in - were back to square one rating and tagging stuff.

ENOUGH! This guide will show you how to setup the folders how you like them and FORCE Vista not to make any more choices for you. Every folder, every time will be how you want it.

The Solution to Remember Folder Settings

The solution involves a registry hack, its quite easy but there are a lot of steps, so you may wish to download the script or copy the code below into a new registry file. Alternatively you can follow the steps outlined below.

Registry Merge File

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


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

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell]
"BagMRU Size"=dword:00004e20

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\AllFolders\Shell]
vista-folder-view-fix.txt (725 B)

Please rename to .reg before merging. If you do not want to merge a registry file then you can follow these steps below which will accomplish the same result.

Manual Method

  1. Launch regedit.exe from the Start > Run command.
  2. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareClassesLocal SettingsSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsShell
  3. In the left pane, right click on Bags, and click Delete.
  4. In the left pane, right click on BagMRU, and click Delete.
  5. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsShell
  6. In the left pane, right click on BagMRU and click Delete.
  7. In the left pane, right click on Bags and click Delete.
  8. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsShellNoRoam
  9. In the left pane, right click on BagMRU if here and click Delete.
  10. In the left pane, right click on Bags if here and click Delete.
  11. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareClassesLocal SettingsSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsShell
  12. In the left pane, right click on Shell and click New and click Key.
  13. Type Bags and press Enter.
  14. In the left pane, right click Bags and click New and click Key.
  15. Type AllFolders and press Enter.
  16. In the left pane, right click AllFolders and click New and click Key.
  17. Type Shell and press Enter.
  18. In the right pane of Shell, right click on a empty area and click New and click String Value.
  19. Type FolderType and press Enter.
  20. In the right pane, right click FolderType and click Modify.
  21. Type NotSpecified and click OK.
  22. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareClassesLocal SettingsSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsShell
  23. In the right pane, right click, new key (DWORD) called BagMRU
  24. In the right pane, right click on BagMRU Size.
  25. Right click, then modify.
  26. Dot the Decimal and type 20000 (folders) and click OK.
  27. Close Regedit.

Finishing Up

Regardless of whether you followed these steps or merged the provided reg file, you will need to reboot your machine. Vista will then rebuild the registry keys with a clean slate. You can now go into Explorer, set-up your folder view and Apply to All Folders when you are done.

This tip will force Vista to remember YOUR folder view and disregard any folder templates that it may choose to use.

2 thoughts on “Force Vista to Remember Folder Settings
  • 30th January 2014 at 12:00 am

    Yeah, he forgot a step... need to create the BagMRU Size key first (as DWORD) then assign it the value 0x00004e20 (20000).

  • 17th August 2011 at 12:00 am

    Damn... on step 23 i have no BagMRU Size In the right pane... i hope this doesn't screw my computer up or anything....


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