0

I want to open freshly created/downloaded zip files in Windows File Explorer in Details view with a customized default column layout that's different than the default Name, Type, Compressed size, Password, Size, Ratio, Date modified.

The default view is almost okay, but the filenames I work with often exceed the column size, and there are columns I never use, cluttering up the display. It's an ongoing irritation.

Just to be absolutely clear:

  1. I download a .zip file and double-click it to open it.
  2. I want to see File Explorer open it with a wider space for the Name and Type columns, the Password and Ratio columns hidden, and the rest of the columns reordered to better match what I've set for my regular folders.

Is this critical? No. I've lived decades with this behavior. And I know about e.g. 7-Zip. I want to use File Explorer.

Would it brighten my day every time I open a new .zip file in Explorer if I could set the defaults? ABSOLUTELY. And I know Explorer can do the work - I can set the columns of an individual zip file, then come back later and open that same zip file again and it still retains the layout I've given it. I just want to know what/where to tweak to make my choices the default. I've tried using the [Apply to Folders] button in "Change folder and search options" to no avail.

Any ideas how to achieve this? Thanks in advance.

0

1 Answer 1

2

It looks like the way to set a custom template for .zip folders is via an AllFolders regtistry entry. These can be per-user modifications if created under:

    HKCU\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\AllFolders\Shell\{80213e82-bcfd-4c4f-8817-bb27601267a9}

or machine-wide if created under:

    HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\bags\AllFolders\Shell\{80213e82-bcfd-4c4f-8817-bb27601267a9}

Because the view property bags are strored with binary data specifying Columns, sort, etc., it's best to copy an existing saved view that has been set to the preferred defaults. Locating the bag you want to copy is the only tricky part. You'll be looking for an entry With the registry path:

    HKCU\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\<Bag#>\Shell\{80213e82-bcfd-4c4f-8817-bb27601267a9}

Warnings:

For a .zip folder to use its dedicated FolderType ({80213e82-bcfd-4c4f-8817-bb27601267a9}):

  • It must be created/opened in a folder that does not have Inheritance set for itself or any ancestor.
  • Default FolderTypes must not be over-ridden by a FolderType entry under either:
    • HKCU\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\AllFolders
    • HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\bags\AllFolders

ProcMon is one way to determine what bag is being writeen to when an Explorer window is closed (that is when any view modifications are saved). Another way is to:

  • determine the highest numbered bag currently in use.
    • PowerShell:

        'MaxBaag# - {0}' -f ([Int[]]((gci 'HKCU:\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags' -Name) -match '\d+') | sort)[-1]
      
  • Open Explorer, create a new .zip folder, set its view to your liking, close the Explorer window.
  • The view you just created should now be saved with the name:
  • ...\Bags\<MaxBag# + 1>\Shell\{80213e82-bcfd-4c4f-8817-bb27601267a9}

<MaxBag# + 1>

Once you've located the bag you want to copy you simply have to:

  1. Export the registry key:

    HKCU\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\<Bag#>\Shell\{80213e82-bcfd-4c4f-8817-bb27601267a9}
    
  2. Open the .reg file and edit the key path:

    • For a per-user mod, simply replace the bag number with the string AllFolders
    • For a machine-wide mod, in addition to replacing the bag#, replace:
      • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software
    • with:
      • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE

          Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
        
          ; Copied From:
          ; [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\AllFolders\Shell\{80213E82-BCFD-4C4F-8817-BB27601267A9}]
          ; Per-user path
          [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\AllFolders\Shell\{80213E82-BCFD-4C4F-8817-BB27601267A9}]
          ; Machine-wide path would be:
          [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\AllFolders\Shell\{80213E82-BCFD-4C4F-8817-BB27601267A9}]
        
  3. Save and then merge the modified .reg file

  4. Verify you've created a registry entry similar to the following (don't forget to refresh the view in RegEdit if already opened): enter image description here

  5. Sign out and back in (per-user) or restart (machine-wide) for changes to take effect.

7
  • Hm, first attempt at adding a comment was somehow lost... Trying again... I went through your instructions carefully. No matter how I edit my view for .zip I'm just never seeing any bag created under a bag number with the key {80213e82-bcfd-4c4f-8817-bb27601267a9}. Just {5C4F28B5-F869-4E84-8E60-F11DB97C5CC7}, which appears to be just the regular folder customization GUID.
    – NoelC
    Aug 8, 2022 at 14:18
  • OK, I got it. I had another tweak in the registry that was incompatible; once removed your instructions worked! The tweak was to set all folders to General Items by Setting FolderType to NotSpecified in [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\AllFolders\Shell]
    – NoelC
    Aug 8, 2022 at 14:30
  • Great! I'll add that info along with the warning about inheritance. As the OP at the reply I initially linked to never acknowledged my answer, could you please mark this as 'Answer'? Aug 9, 2022 at 1:29
  • To be clear, you need not add anything else. I had to remove the NotSpecified tweak. The change you suggested has been holding. New .zip files now open just as wanted. Thanks again! I've marked yours as the correct answer.
    – NoelC
    Aug 14, 2022 at 15:18
  • 1
    Just following up... I experience a small pang of delight every. single. time. I open a downloaded zip file in File Explorer (something I do as part of my job many times a day) and it already has the right columns at the right sizes. So few gifts keep on giving. If I could buy you a case of beer I would, Keith. I hope you have the happiest of holidays!
    – NoelC
    Dec 15, 2022 at 13:27

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .