I want to add more "date" columns in Windows Explorer, but the settings I changed does not apply as default meaning that if I close the current modified window and re-open any folder in any location in Windows Explorer, the columns I just added are all gone.

Is there a way to setup columns as default?

  • 3
    Your windows version can play a big part in this, but windows 7, for instance, there are defaults for various folder types (ie, general, videos, music, photos, etc). To make your current folder's settings be the default for all folders of that type, you'll have to go into Tools -> Folder Options -> View - Apply to Folders. And note you'll have to do that for each "type" of folder if you require the same settings in all folders
    – panhandel
    Jan 6, 2015 at 20:48

2 Answers 2


Try the below steps to customize the Windows Explorer columns.

  1. Open a Windows Explorer window
  2. Right-click anywhere that's blank and choose Customize this folder
  3. Choose General Items from the Optimize this folder for list box, then click OK
  4. In Windows Explorer, open the Tools menu and click Folder Options
  5. On the View tab click on Apply to Folders then click OK

This will help you to resolve the issue.

Hope this helps.

  • not working - windows server 2012 R2
    – Fantastory
    Jan 23, 2017 at 7:58
  • @Vembutech Is there any way to create a custom view (i.e. add an option to the "Optimize this folder for" menu instead of overwriting an existing one)?
    – user623763
    May 2, 2017 at 14:42
  • Is there a way to apply this to the Windows 7 Open/Save dialog?
    – Noumenon
    Sep 7, 2017 at 21:43
  • 1
    Sidenote: You have to do this once for each folder type (General, but also Music, etc.) if you want it to be applied to all folders.
    – Basj
    May 4, 2018 at 12:43
  • 1
    I'm looking for a way to set the Open/Save As defaults in Win 10, including default column widths, which always come up with Name too narrow.
    – Terrypin
    Nov 20, 2018 at 19:50

In Windows 10 the option moved.

In Windows Explorer, configure the folder how you like it then:

  • Click the File menu
  • Select Change folder and search options

    enter image description here

  • In the Folder Options dialog, select the View tab

  • Click Apply to Folders.

    enter image description here

  • 2
    For me, this "Apply to Folders" button mentions "all folders of this type". So, these same steps had to be done in a few different places to make sure every type was covered.
    – clk
    Feb 9, 2017 at 15:28
  • BACKUP your REG key first!! Try this at your own risk!! Windows key + R, type regedit, press ENTER, navigate to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local>Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\AllFolders\Shell Change the string size from BagMRU from 0 to 10000 Hope this solve it! Jan 27, 2021 at 13:06

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