Is there some file I can remove or something I can do to globally ensure that windows visa/xp/etc doesn't do annoying things?

Annoying things:

1) Hide the file extension

2) All these "meta" columns I could care less about in "details" view (rating, album, date taken, Assistant's name, Artist, 35mm focal length, City, Other City, etc...). All I want are Name, size, date created, date modified, and file extension. MAYBE file chmod settings.

3) That garbage in the left pane known as "favorite links." (Documents, desktop, photos, music, etc...)

4) Switching between detail view, large icon view, thumbnail view, list view, and tiles when I goto differnt folders, all I want is detail view, with the same columns every time. That's it.

I shouldn't have to get third party software to make my file system browseable, but if I need to so be it... Why are all these settings buried away? It feels like I have to apply them onto each folder every time.


To show the file extension:

Tools > Folder Options > View:

Clear the "Hide extensions for known file types" option.

Then set up an explorer view how you like it with the columns you want and the display mode you want. Then go back into Tools > Folder Options > View and click the Apply to All Folders option.


(The following instructions are from Vista: I don't believe this changed from Windows XP)

To remove the LHS pane:

  • From the Explorer menu bar, select Organize | Layout |Preview Pane

To show the extensions

  • From the Explorer menu bar, select Organize | Folder and Search Options | View
  • Uncheck Hide extensions for known file types.

To make all folders look the same:

  • Go to the root drive(s) on your machine.
  • Under Properties | Customise select Documents as the type of Template, and have it apply to all subfolders.

To make all folders stay the same (haven't tested this):

  • From the Explorer menu bar, select Organize | Folder and Search Options | View
  • Uncheck Remember each folder's view settings.
  • Navigation pane includes the "favorites links" pane as well. Show extensions solution works. Applying to all folders still doesn't over-ride a good number of these folders... :( I remember in windows 98 there was a hidden file I could just delete, anything like that still around? – Incognito Jun 10 '10 at 13:28
  • Note sure why the override doesn't work. I've added another step to the answer - see if that works. Note sure which of the (large number of) menu bar, title bar, preview pane, navigation pane, details pane or other guff you are referring to by "favourites links". I don't seem to see "favourites" on my machine, so there is hope! – Oddthinking Jun 11 '10 at 4:04

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