In Windows 7, you could give each folder its own view settings. There were templates like "Documents", "Pictures", and so forth, but you could customize each folder as you saw fit.

Except when viewing that folder through a library. When you did that, every folder and sub-folder always used the template. So if you made a change (increasing the width of a column in the "details" view), every other folder using that template would be adjusted to match. Basically, all folders were forced to use the same template.

Windows 10 seemed to behave in the same way. Until the 1607 update, that is.

Now, every library-visible folder seems to have its own settings. But these settings are different from the individual settings you see normally. So the individual folder view might sort by type and have natural column widths, but when viewed through a library it will be sorted by name and have narrow column widths.

Now, Windows will remember these settings, it seems. However, the settings don't propagate to children, nor will they respect the Library's template settings you have set up. Or at least, they won't fully respect them; the overall view type will be respected (detail vs. icons), but not specifics like sorting and columns.

So to get reasonable folder views, you have to go to each folder, and every subfolder under that folder, and reset it. Manually.

What can be done to get Windows 10's library folder view behavior working the way it used to?

  • Does this registry modifications (superuser.com/questions/15087/…) from Ivo Flipse works for Windows 10 build 1607 too or not? – PeterCo Nov 24 '16 at 11:43
  • @PeterCo: I don't know; I rolled back to the previous Win10 version to restore some sanity. But I doubt that would help, considering that the problem has to do only with library folders. – Nicol Bolas Nov 24 '16 at 13:14

This isn't a solution for you, unfortunately. I have the same issue and haven't been able to find a solution, hack, or fix anywhere. I ended up rolling back to Windows 10 Pro version 1511 and selecting the "defer upgrades" option in Updates, Advanced Options, to put off receiving upgrades for as long as possible with the hope that these bugs will be worked out by the time Microsoft forces the upgrade on us. Note that this is only available in the Pro version. Doing this does not prevent any security updates. I wish I could be of more help.

  • @Nelson: "Someone will want each folder customized, someone will want all the same." The new behavior is almost good. The problem with it is that there's no way to change all of the folders and sub-folders settings all at once. So that you can have a default view, then modify it for a few specific folders. It can be done for regular folders, but not for hard-links (which libraries are built from). – Nicol Bolas Sep 30 '16 at 13:28
  • 1
    @NicolBolas How about a button, 'inherit parent view settings'. – Xalorous Sep 30 '16 at 16:15
  • The settings for each folder has to be saved somewhere, right? Is it not possible to read this settings and apply them to all subfolders? – PeterCo Nov 24 '16 at 11:29

OK, this is a thought experiment which I know is probably in breach of the advice about answers.

It appears that the relevant registry settings are (see relevant registry settings in Windows 10: Backup and Restore Folder View Settings in Windows 10).

  • HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\BagMRU and
  • HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags.

In my case I appear to have over 100 entries within these keys which I assume is because I use sub-folders in my Library all the time and I am continually trying to set the views to what I want them to be.

So my imaginary (i.e. untested) steps would be:

  1. Export copy of current values of those registry keys to files (you could use the bat script created by Shawn Brink from the reference above to do this)
  2. Close Windows Explorer
  3. Delete those settings from your registry using lines below in a cmd window:

    Reg Delete "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\BagMRU" /F
    Reg Delete "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags" /F
  4. Open Windows Explorer, which should get Windows 10 to rebuild all views to defaults

  5. Export the default registry settings for the two keys above to new files
  6. Using Windows explorer change to your Documents folder (or any folder you choose) and configure view settings to the way you like them then Save the settings for that folder
  7. Export registry settings for those two keys again
  8. Use a text editor to compare the changes between the default registry settings and the new ones (I would use diff and vi to accomplish this, but then I am an old unix hack - nb not 'hacker')
  9. Apply these changes to all sub-keys that have the same settings as the old sub-key before you changed it.
  10. Close Windows Explorer and delete the registry settings again
  11. Import these modified files back into the registry
  12. Open Windows Explorer again

This will probably work until you add a new folder to your library when it will revert all views back to the default settings again. Urrggghhhhh


I know it's an old thread, but I've just had the same issue, and I figured a way around it, thought this might help....

open windows explorer and browse to the following directory:


There you will see all your libraries, right click each on of them, click on properties, then to the tab (Library), from "optimize this library for" option choose "pictures" instead of "general items" this should make all libraries the same view as "pictures" view thumbnail.

if you desire something aside from the thumbnails, same steps apply, only now you would have to browse to a random folder, also optimize it for pictures, and enter it, then set up the view settings you like, and from folder options >> view >> apply to all folders, this will make all folders with optimization for pictures use the same view for example.

I hope this helps.

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