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I have an empty folder with regular details view. File name, file size, file type columns are shown and I am happy.

Then I put some MP3 or WAV files in. Windows Explorer "kindly" changes the column types. It will show Genre, media length, Album and other metadata tags, but does not show the file size anymore. If I do not like it, I have to manually change the columns back. It is very irritating.

How can I turn this automatic behavior off?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 14 down vote accepted

I have tested the following solution on my Windows Vista machine, but it is said to work on Windows 7 as well.

You have to disable the "Automatic Folder Type Discovery" feature present in Windows Vista and Windows 7. You need to perform the following:

  • Easy way: Download this file and double click the REG file inside it.

In case the link goes broken, copy the following lines into a new text file, save it as "resetfolders.reg" and double-click it:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

; Reset and delete all saved folder customizations and settings.
[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\BagMRU]
[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags]

; Turn off Vista auto folder type template discovery. 
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\AllFolders\Shell]

; Modify the storage space to 10000 for saving of up to 10000 folder settings.
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell]
"BagMRU Size"=dword:00002710
  • Boring way:

 1. Reset the folder options:

  • In Windows Explorer, click Organize -> Folder and Search Options -> View tab -> Folder Options -> Reset Folder
    • The above can also be done by removing the registry keys HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags and its subkeys and HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\BagMRU and its subkeys.
  • go to Folder Options (Organize -> Folder and Search Options) View tab, and make sure the Remember each folder’s view settings is checked.
  • Close the Explorer window after changes to save the settings. Windows Vista will only remember the state of folders of the window is closed.

 2. Disable auto discovery:

  • Start Regedit, navigate to the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell and perform the following steps:
  • Right click on Shell in left pane, select New and then click Key.
  • Type Bags to create a key named Bags, and press Enter.
  • Right click on Bags that just been created, select New and then click Key.
  • Type AllFolders to create a sub-key named AllFolders, and and press Enter.
  • Right click on AllFolders that just been created, select New and then click Key.
  • Type Shell to create another subkey named Shell, and then press Enter.
  • Select Shell key that just been created, and then right click on an empty area in the right pane, click on New and then select String Value.
  • Type FolderType as the value name, and press Enter.
  • Right click on the Folder Type and click Modify or simply double click on FolderType.
  • Type NotSpecified as its value data.
  • Click OK.

 3. Increasing the BagMRU Cache Memory Size

  • Run Registry Editor (regedit).
  • Navigate to the following registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell
  • If there is not a BagMRU Size value, right click on a blank space in the right pane, then select New, and then click DWORD (32-bit) Value. Then, type BagMRU Size as the value name.
  • Double click on BagMRU Size key just created, and then enter 10000 (in decimal base) or 2710 (in hexadecimal base) as its value data.


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Can we still enable music mode for the one folder it actually makes sense in? – endolith Mar 18 '14 at 3:13
I wish I could upvote this every time it has made windows less obnoxious for me. – Doug Kavendek Mar 29 '14 at 19:07
This reg doesn't work, when I execute it I get the following error: "Cannot import C:\...resetfolders.reg: The specified file is not a registry script. You can only import binary registry files from within the registry editor." See screenshot: – admin May 15 '14 at 19:06
for me using windows 10 x64 the registry alone didn't help; I had to also reset folders – Costin Gușă Jun 19 at 11:05

After the adding the Size column, or making whatever changes you like, save those settings as the default for that kind of folder. You can drag Size towards the left, so that it is easily visible. Then you can either ignore the additional columns or delete them. Then save the resulting layout as default:

First check that you aren't accidentally changing the default for "General Items". Right-click the folder, choose Properties -> Customize. Make sure "Optimize this folder for" is set to Music or Video, as appropriate.

Apply the changes: Organize -> Folder and search options -> View Tab -> Apply to Folders.

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