I'm running Vista Home Premium 32-Bit with a screen resolution of 1024x768.

How do you set the default windows size/positions? Is there a registry tweak for this? Going to Tools->Folder Options...->View Apply to Folders does not apply the current folder size to all folders.

So, whenever I open a new window to a random new folder I haven't opened before, I don't want it to take 75% of the screen. Is there any way I could make it open smaller? (So it opens correctly the first time.)


I want the default size of folders to be 500x500 pixels.

Currently it's at 800x600 pixels.

  • 1
    I never noticed this before, but Windows 7 seems to remember the size from the last Explorer windows that was closed.
    – paradroid
    Feb 16, 2011 at 3:56
  • @paradroid : I think it does that to windows vista too...
    – Owen
    Feb 16, 2011 at 6:52
  • 1
    I get around these sorts of issues by just using a different file manager: Total Commander, xplorer^2, Free Commander, etc.
    – MaQleod
    Apr 8, 2011 at 5:08
  • 1
    @MaQleod Which (free and/or open source) one do you recommend? Will they slow down Windows? May 4, 2011 at 0:33
  • 1
    xplorer^2 is what I use on a regular basis, it is tabbed and dual-paned and can integrate somewhat decently into explorer to replace the file manager portion. It is free for personal use. I have never had an issue with it slowing down Windows and I've used it on some slow machines.
    – MaQleod
    May 4, 2011 at 4:19

5 Answers 5



This program seems to work. Open any Explorer window, choose it on "Currently open windows" list, press AutoSize, choose "Resize / Position", press "Set Size" and choose your size.

  • 7
    I would rather not have to install any software. (I'm paranoid.) May 4, 2011 at 0:27
  • 1
    @MateenUlhaq I find poweruser software like this to be generally trustworthy because the people who write it are. Additionally, one can only pack so much malware into a 280kb EXE...
    – paIncrease
    Aug 14, 2015 at 17:46
  • 2
    @paIncrease: 280kb is more than enough to download and run another executable of any size from a web address.
    – Iiridayn
    May 5, 2017 at 23:50

Within Windows 7, @Owen's statement is correct (I've tested it). However, if you're wanting to reset to the default window size, then you can edit the registry through these .reg hacks.

They appear to edit these registry settings:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\BagMRU]
[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags]

I'm not sure if there's a way to change the actual default size to a specified pixel ratio, but this appears to be the closest to what you're looking for.

Note: These are for Windows 7 machines, and therefore, I'm not 100% sure if it'll work for a Vista machine, though it's worth giving a shot.

  • Nope, this doesn't change the default window size to what I want (500x500 px). May 2, 2011 at 0:20
  • @muntoo does it set the system back to the default window size? Also as I said above I don't think it is possible set that default size. May 2, 2011 at 0:37
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\1\Shell\{5C4F28B5-F869-4E84-8E60-F11DB97C5CC7}\WinPos1024x768(1).right seems to change the size/position a bit... But it's specific to each folder. May 2, 2011 at 1:05
  • You might take a look at this but again, I just don't think it can be done. May 2, 2011 at 5:20
  • This reset my explorer windows to the default size, which is what I wanted, but not what the OP wanted. Sep 30, 2015 at 7:20

Try resizing that window to your desired size then close it. The next time you open it, it will be of the same size as that of what you just closed.

  • 6
    I remember some people saying that you should hold down CTRL or SHIFT or something when closing it, to get it to stick, allegedly, so that might be worth the OP trying if it doesn't work.
    – paradroid
    Feb 16, 2011 at 7:34
  • 1
    Yes... but what if I open a different window? (Meaning: by default it opens as small as I set the defaults too.) I've clarified my original post, although I still mean exactly what I had written. Feb 16, 2011 at 22:52
  • Windows 10 decided for some reason to reset the default size to a tiny rectangle. I knew the procedure in this answer, it is the correct one, and it should work indeed (no need to use CTRL). But at first it was ineffective: Whatever the size of the last closed window, Windows kept using a ridiculous tiny size. So I tried a procedure suggested elsewhere: Right click the title bar and use "restore size". This is an old option for resizing using keyboard arrows. After I did that, Windows started to remember the size of the last window. Completely odd, I have no explanation to propose.
    – mins
    Jul 1 at 8:48

I just tried opening File Manager and resizing it and locating it where I wanted to open on subsequent uses.

Then, as suggested above, I held down the Ctrl key and clicked on the X box in the upper right corner to close the window. When I reopened the File Manager, it was in the same exact location and size as it was when I closed it.

I'm using WinXP SP3, but it might work on other versions.



It works only with those windows opened by Explorer (i.e. various folders); it resizes and moves Explorer windows upon creation.

The webpage says it works with Win7 and Win10 (with .Net 4.0); not sure if it can be used also with Vista.

It is true that it is an external program, but, for paranoids, it also has the complete C# source code, and it is a 17Kb executable (no install).

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