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I have the problem discussed in this post:

Win 7 Programs and Features Too Slow

and in this post:

Why does Programs and Features take minutes to populate?

I'm trying to resolve the issue (which I've done in the past) by removing the "Size" column, as one of the answers suggests. However, when I close and re-open "Programs and Features", the size column is back. In fact, none of the changes I make in that window -- column order, etc. -- stick around for the next time.

Is there something I am missing?

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  • On both my machines (Windows 7 64bit Ultimate) it still works. So there must be something about the installation. Is it still working for the normal explorer window? (changing columns etc. closing and opening?) – Rik Sep 19 '13 at 16:18
  • Yes, it works in the normal explorer window. – rory.ap Sep 19 '13 at 17:22
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This behavior has not changed with Windows 7 and should work.

I removed a column and the following key changed in my registry:

[HKCU\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\719\Shell\{D674391B-52D9-4E07-834E-67C98610F39D}] namely the key colinfo

Looking for {D674391B-52D9-4E07-834E-67C98610F39D} in Google you can find here that the FolderType for this ID is indeed "Programs" or the SoftwareExplorer.

In HKCU\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags are normally all the changes made in all explorer windows. Maybe the colinfo for "Programs" is corrupt.

Solution: Open regedit.exe search for D674391B-52D9-4E07-834E-67C98610F39D
Ignore the foldertype entries until you come to HKCU\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\xxxx\Shell\{D674391B-52D9-4E07-834E-67C98610F39D}. There (on the right) you can rename the underlying colinfo to colinfo2 or something. When opening "Programs" Windows will create a new clean colinfo key and hopefully you can change the columns and Windows will remember.

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  • Thanks Rik. It was slightly different, but you definitely got me 95% there. I didn't have that ID D674391B-52D9-4E07-834E-67C98610F39D anywhere in HKCU, oddly enough. I used Sysinternals Process Monitor, as I imagine you did, to figure out exactly what had changed, and here it is: – rory.ap Sep 19 '13 at 20:44
  • Oops, didn't mean to submit that comment. Here it is: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\526\Shell\{5C4F28B5-F869-4E84-8E60-F11DB97C5CC7}. That ID corresponds with the "Generic" folder type from the folder type identifiers list you posted. I renamed the "ColInfo" value and tried the operation again, and this time it was successful. I'd vote up your answer, but I don't have high enough rep. – rory.ap Sep 19 '13 at 20:46
  • I tried to use Process Monitor but it gave me too many lines (which scrolled too fast) so i used Regshot64.exe. You can click to make a snapshot of the registry, make changes, click a second time and it will give you all the changes. – Rik Sep 19 '13 at 20:54
  • Weird the key was different. Perhaps it does not need to be the same on all installations. Glad it works. – Rik Sep 19 '13 at 20:57

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