In Windows Explorer (Win7-10) the folder's type is detected automatically by the files in it (e.g., music). I can disable this on folder base manually in the properties of each folder (and its subfolder). But this creates a lot of desktop.ini files.

Is there a way to disable the folder type detection on a system based level - like "Windows should never detect the folder types on its own and should always use the plain file view"?


1 Answer 1


This method will require modifying your registry

  1. Start by opening regedit (in Windows 7 go to Start Menu > Run and enter regedit; for Windows 10 just click Start Menu and start typing regedit and hit Enter)
  2. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell
  3. Delete both of the following keys: Bags and BagMRU
  4. Right-click on the Shell key and select New > Key and name it Bags
  5. Right-click on Bags key and select New > Key and name it AllFolders
  6. Right-click on AllFolders key and select New > Key and name it Shell
  7. Right-click on Shell key and select New > String Value name it FolderType
  8. Double-click on FolderType in the right window pane to bring up the Edit String option.
  9. In the Value Data filed enter NotSpecified enter image description here
  10. Now close regedit and you're done. Windows Explorer will no longer detect the folder's type and change the view.
  • 5
    FYI this is still working in 2020 on Win10 version 2004. And thank goodness because the default behavior is obnoxious.
    – DAG
    Commented Sep 6, 2020 at 13:43
  • I am looking for how to do the opposite - to re-enable automatic detection of new folder's type. When I create a new folder, paste the image, go one folder up and then return to the new folder the view is not changed to Picture view as before - now every new folder has list view regardless of the containing files type.
    – Chupo_cro
    Commented Jul 18, 2021 at 17:54
  • What if I don't have those keys, but do have nested folders with those names? Was this changed for 2021? Screenshot: imgur.com/LopslcY Commented Oct 13, 2021 at 7:58
  • 2
    Not sure if editing in the .reg contents for this change would be too big a change to this answer so here are the entries for this change: [-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags] [-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\BagMRU] [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\AllFolders\Shell] "FolderType"="NotSpecified"
    – Lilienthal
    Commented Feb 10, 2022 at 12:30
  • 1
    Unfortunately this isn't working in Windows 10 as of March 18, 2024. Explorer continues to change the view depending on the file types it finds. I've triple-checked the registry path and settings
    – MichaelH
    Commented Mar 18 at 14:39

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