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I know this functionality is not available as a built-in option for Windows 7. However, I'm asking because I'm curious if anybody here has found a way to achieve this effect through other means (perhaps a 3rd party utility, or some other trick).

Please keep in mind that I'm not interesting in remembering window position and sizes. I only care about the view/layout settings (icons/list/details/etc). I'm also not interested in setting a single default view for every folder.

I understand this might not be possible, but I wanted to take the chance asking.

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Doesn't Win7 allow you to check the option to 'Remember each folder's view settings check box under the Advanced settings menu on the View tab of Folder Options in Control Panel'? support.microsoft.com/kb/813711 Or this: geekscribes.net/blog/2011/06/05/… –  ṧнʊß May 29 at 16:41
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Doesn't Win7 allow you to check the option to 'Remember each folder's view settings check box under the Advanced settings menu on the View tab of Folder Options in Control Panel'? @shub, no, that option is present in XP, but not Windows 7. –  Synetech May 30 at 4:43
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4 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The view is attached to the library. Or, more precisely, the library type (Music, Video, Documents etc). The folder view as seen from outside the library can be different.

All included folders and sub-folders in a library will always share the same folder view. The most one can do is have separate "Arrange by" view settings in each added right-click -> New -> Folder created in the library itself.

One "workaround" I know of, is to setup a second library with the view you want. You can even have the same folders in it.

The extremely long thread Is Remember each folder's view settings functionality gone for good? has this solution by a guy named Gray (which I haven't tested) :

There are two scenarios with remembering views (Windows 7):

  1. Libraries - Don't Remember
  2. Folders / Favourites - DO Remember (Easy Fix : Add My Docs to Favourites - see below)

Library Behavior

Lets say you click Documents, then choose 'medium icons', wherever you navigate within Documents from then on stays in 'med icon' view.

NB Choosing Organize>Fold & Search Options>View>'Apply to Folders' and 'Reset Folders' are not available in Libraries.

Folders / Favorites

Folders do remember views by default. So if you navigate to C:\users\xxx\Documents etc each individual folder in the tree will remember whatever you set it to.

Likewise if you add 'My Documents' to Favorites and navigate from there. To add 'My Docs' to Favorites you need to navigate to your User Folder e.g:

  1. Start Menu > User Folder > My Docs
  2. Right-click Favorites > Add current location to favorites

DO NOT add 'My Docs' to Favorites from within Libraries. As it is 'Libraries' that ignore last view setting.

NB Choosing Organize>Fold & Search Options>View>'Apply to Folders' and 'Reset Folders' are available in Folders. So you can make all folders copy your current view (Apply to folders).

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This is very helpful information. I don't mind phasing out the use of Libraries altogether. I can use the Favorites instead. However, I do have some small issues with this. For example, the "Library" links on the right pane of the Start Menu. I use those quite a bit, but they only seem to link to the library locations. I know there was some registry way to change that but until I can find it again it's a bit troublesome. –  vertigoelectric Jun 2 at 21:04
    
You can add Favorites to the Start Menu by right-clicking the taskbar -> Properties -> Start Menu tab -> Customize -> check Favorites menu -> OK. Is that the registry hack you are looking for? –  harrymc Jun 3 at 4:52
    
You may also add a folder to the Start menu. –  harrymc Jun 3 at 7:25
    
harrymc - This adds browser favorites to the start bar, not the Windows Explorer folder favorites. I know I can add folders to the left pane of the start menu, but I already have a lot of items on the left and would like to utilize the space on the right. I know I can't add more arbitrary items, but as I mentioned I do recall some way of modifying the links of the existing items. –  vertigoelectric Jun 3 at 20:37
    
HOWEVER, I found a way to use that "Favorites" menu entry. Since it points to favorites I don't use, I simply deleted all of the items in that folder and then placed shortcuts to the items I want. Now the Favorites menu on the right pane of the start menu points to the locations I wanted. The only downside now is that they're in a submenu, which means an additional click, but it's not so bad (see here snaps.vertigofx.com/029/snap_(2014-06-03)(13.42.43)_1677.png) –  vertigoelectric Jun 3 at 20:44
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Remember each folder's view settings in Windows 7? I know this functionality is not available as a built-in option for Windows 7.

Sure it is. Windows automatically stores all related information about Explorer windows in the registry in ShellBags.

However, I'm asking because I'm curious if anybody here has found a way to achieve this effect through other means (perhaps a 3rd party utility, or some other trick).

It happens automatically, so no third-party tool should be needed. There do exist a few tools that let you view them, but there aren’t any tools that let you save or restore them. (Actually, I wrote one back in the day for XP, but ShellBags changed a lot with Vista and I never had enough motivation to bother updating it.)

I'm not interesting in remembering window position and sizes. I only care about the view/layout settings (icons/list/details/etc). I'm also not interested in setting a single default view for every folder.

They’re the same thing; Windows stores all of those settings in the ShellBags.

I understand this might not be possible, but I wanted to take the chance asking.

Windows should automatically save the view mode for each folder, but it defaults to saving only the most recent 400 folder settings. You can increase this so that it saves more (or less) by modifying (or adding if necessary), the following the BagMRU Size registry entry:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

;Save folder settings for 1,000 folders (1000=3E8 hex)
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell]
"BagMRU Size"=dword:000003E8

;This is supposedly where you set it for 64-bit systems, but the above one works just fine
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Wow6432Node\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell]
"BagMRU Size"=dword:000003E8

If necessary, you can try manually saving and restoring the folder settings by exporting and importing the registry key HKCR\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell (make sure to close Windows Explorer before restoring).

Additionally, there existed since the Windows 95 days, a rumor that holding the Ctrl when clicking the [x] button to close an Explorer window will force Windows to save that folder’s settings, but that was never definitively proven to be real, and certainly not proven to still apply to recent versions of Windows.

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Here's a related Microsoft article: Changes to the size, view, icon or position of a folder are lost. The Wow6432Node branch is associated with 32-bit applications running on a 64-bit system. As of Windows 7, it's not longer possible to use the 32-bit version of Windows Explorer in 64-bit editions, so the key would have no effect. –  and31415 May 30 at 13:15
    
I don't have either of those "BagMRU Size" entries. Where is the 400 originally from? –  endolith May 30 at 14:10
    
I tried the Fix It tool from that site and it doesn't work, even though HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-1707515248-1639935505-3560741758-1001_Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\BagMRU is now 5000. If I change a folder to Extra Large Icon view, or change the sort order, all other folders now have the same icon view and the same sort order. I want every folder's settings to be unique to that particular folder. –  endolith Jun 5 at 18:42
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I'm running Win7 x64 and it does seem to remember my folder settings (I say seem to because I have never actively checked it until now). My Pictures folder shows as large tiles and pretty much everything else is detailed view.

According to some posts here though, if it is part of a Library (or at least accessed through a Library link) it will not remember the folder layout (although that also seems to work ok for me...)

EDIT: Having done some more playing, I think what the users in the link I posted mean is; If you change the layout of a folder within explorer having accesses the folder the "normal" way, if you then navigate to that same folder through a library link, the layout will not have changed and will be the same layout you used last time you access the folder through the library link (If that makes any sense whatsoever!).

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That might be the problem. Even if I open a folder from C:\\, once I've saved it as a bookmark and reopened it, it opens from the Documents library. –  endolith Jun 5 at 18:52
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Set the customization for 1 folder type (music, documents,videos, pictures all data). Now select the root dir, change the folder type to the customized view and select to apply this layout to all subfolders.

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Hmmmm... if I'm understanding you correctly, then this might be at least a close workaround. I'll give it a try. –  vertigoelectric Apr 2 '13 at 4:49
    
Ehhh... well this doesn't quite do what I want. Also this doesn't seem to affect folders viewed as Libraries. Thanks anyway. –  vertigoelectric Apr 2 '13 at 4:58
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