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Windows Vista (and I guess Win 7 though I haven't used it) sometimes automatically applies templates to folders opened in Explorer based on their content. E.g. a folder with photos automatically gets the columns "Date taken", "Tags", and "Rating".

Is there a way to disable the automatic application of this feature while still allowing manual customisation?
I really want to apply the "All Items" template to all folders on all drives, and have it stay that way except on a few folders that I manually customise.

The reason I want to disable the automatic behaviour is that it's often just wrong. I have folders with over 100 files where Windows has automatically applied a template based on the types of one or two of those files, and the template is wrong for everything else in the same folder.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted


  1. Run regedit
  2. Go to:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\
  3. Create Bags\Allfolder\Shell
  4. Inside the "Shell" key, add a new "String Value", with the name "FolderType".
  5. Modify the "FolderType" string setting the value: "NotSpecified".

Further specific instructions on

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Thanks - the linked page looks like the answer and a whole lot more. – Scott Leis Jun 8 '10 at 1:13
Can I still manually set a folder to be a "Picture" folder after this? I still want large thumbnails in there, and in general folders a details view. I just don't want Windows automatically changed the folder type. – Ray Koopa Apr 23 '14 at 9:23

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