How to Fix Annoying Folder View Type Change Problem in Windows

UPDATE: This tutorial will work for Windows Vista and all later Windows versions such as Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

One of the most annoying problems in Windows Vista and later Windows versions is the automatic change of a folder view type. Imagine a situation when you set a desired view type of a folder (such as large icons, list, details, etc) and after some time Windows automatically changes its view type to "Pictures and Videos" or any other view type when you copy a picture or video file to this folder.

Its a very common problem in Windows Vista and later OS which almost all Windows users are facing. Actually it happens because of "Automatic Folder Type Discovery" feature which was introduced in Windows Vista but instead of making something good, this feature has made the life of Windows users worst as Windows doesn't remember your customized view types for folders and automatically resets the view type based on folder content.

But now no need to worry, there is a registry trick to fix this annoying problem. This trick will reset the view settings of all folders and then it'll completely disable the automatic folder type discovery feature, so you'll not face this problem any more and Windows will always remember your customized view type settings for all folders.

So follow these simple steps to fix this problem:

1. Type regedit in RUN or Start search box and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.

2. Now navigate to following key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell

3. Under "Shell" key, select "Bags" key and press "Delete" key. It'll ask for confirmation, click on Yes button.

4. Now right-click on "Shell" key and select "New -> Key" option. Set the name of new key as Bags

5. Now right-click on "Bags" key and select "New -> Key" option. Set the name of new key as AllFolders

6. Again right-click on "AllFolders" key and select "New -> Key" option. Now set the name of new key as Shell

So the final key path will be:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\AllFolders\Shell

7. Now click on this new "Shell" key and in right-side pane, create a new String value and give it name as FolderType and set its value to NotSpecified


8. That's it. Either restart your system or log off and now Windows will no longer forget or automatically change your customized folder view type settings.


If you are not familiar with Registry editing tasks and want a ready-made Registry script to do the task automatically, download following Zip file, extract it and run the extracted REG file. It'll ask for confirmation, accept it:

Download Registry Script to Fix Folder View Type Problem in Windows


If you want, you can apply same folder view settings to all folders using following steps:

1. In Windows Explorer, open any folder and customize its view type to your desired view such as large icons or details, etc.

2. Now open Folder Options (from Tools menu in Windows XP, from Organize menu in Windows Vista and 7, from Ribbon -> View in Windows 8 and later).

3. Go to View tab in Folder Options and click on "Apply to Folders" button.


That's it. It'll immediately apply current folder view type settings to all folders in your computer.

Also Check:

[Fix] Desktop Icons Position and Folder View Settings Problem in Windows 10

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Posted in: Troubleshooting, Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8 / 8.1, Windows Vista

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  • Thanks!

    In Win7 there are 100's of new file details you can display and sort by. For a large music collection you can almost edit all of your tags (song details) right in explorer! In addition Windows Search catalogs all the information so you can search for it. For example: In a music folder click in the search box, click Genre and either type or select from the huge list.

    So, because of these exposed details I like my folders in a very specific format and sort order. When Windows comes along and screws with that it's a lot of work down the drain!

    Thanks again!

  • VG

    ^^ Completely agree.

  • thanks for this. worked perfectly on windows 7

  • Thank you for this fix; haven't tried it yet, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed until I do. I'm absolutely flabbergasted that Windows would allow such a careless mistake to continue unaddressed; this quirk has irritated me for as long as I've been using Windows 7. Used to be that you could set your folders to be viewed in any manner you wished (List, Details, Tiles, etc), and also, sorted in any order you wished (Name, Date, type, Size, etc), and it would keep every individual setting in place. Now, the settings just change without rhyme or reason--most definitely without reason, and it is infuriating! The fact that Microsoft has failed to address this, even with so many customers complaining about such an pointless but very essential change tell sme they just don't give a damn, and it has pushed me ever closer to making the switch to a Mac. I'm really surprised some code group or company hasn't created some software that takes care of these problems, but here's to giving you a tip of the hat for your efforts at this. Thanks once again!

  • VG

    ^^ It'll 100% work. Thats one of the first things which I always do after installing Windows Vista or 7 in a system. ;)

  • Thanks a lot!

  • Thanks, working great ! i have used your registry file and all ok now

  • how to set its value to NotSpecified

  • VG

    ^^ Double-click on the key and type the value in textbox. If you are having problem, you can try the Registry script given at the end of the topic.

  • wow thanks that was so annoying and as a side benefit the whole vista OS seems snappier!

  • Yep, now all folders became "General Items". At least its better than randomly assigning whatever type the OS wants. From now on I hope that my folder customizations will remain as they are. Another annoying issues is that sometimes the custom icons I set for preview of folders get reset. I wonder what the cause is.

  • Thank You very much. It was my nightmare. :-)

  • thanks so much! finally i could get rid of this most annoying "feature" ever

  • hi, can you help me. see i have this problem with my window 10. since i upgraded my window and whenever i try to open a folder and scroll down. it will automatically went back up by itself. it's really annoying and it's happen so many times now. i really hope you can help me. like seriously. please. thank you so much if you can help me.

  • VG

    ^^ Sometimes this problem occur due to faulty USB devices. If you have connected a USB mouse or hub to your PC, disconnect it and then check.

    Also try to change the view type of folder.

  • Thank you for this fix. I applied to Windows 10 and it solved my issue. It appears to have a side effect that the "recent files" part of the jumplist is now correctly working as well. Windows 10 has been a nightmare regarding getting back functionality. Thank you again.

  • Thanks a lot.

  • Hi, i have basically the same problem of Windows automatic change of a folder view type. When i change the view of my folders and exit or go back, it will change back to detail view. i can do nothing it will keep change back to detail. also on my desktop items will keep arranging itself. it doesnt matter if i uncheck align items to grid ect.

    i have also tried the above method and also downloaded the file with no luck.

    im on windows 10. Any help would be much appreciated.


  • hi ,
    i have this problem in windows 10 , too . this method not work for me .
    i have this problem for Desktop Icons , too . i change Them to "small Icons " but it Restore " medium Icons " after restart .

    please help me .

  • VG

    ^^ It might be a bug or an issue related to 3rd party software. Recently a reader reported that the same thing was happening to him because of ESET security suite. When he uninstalled it, the problem disappeared.

  • I had ESET Smart Security and uninstalled it. The problem with icons is still there. The problem arose about 7 days ago. I did not install any software or upgrade. Tips associated with Windows 7, and 8 (8.1) does not solve the problem with Windows 10.

  • Same for my windows 10 happens this month, and the solution here didnt fix. pls help

  • i am having same problem with my desktop icons and folder view thwy both revert back to the medium icon setting after reboot and i tried all the steps above

  • Hi , VG

    Please Add this method for fixing this problem :

  • Thanks Arshia.
    This method worked well for me in windows 10. :D

  • Hi worked fine on win 10 but i get a message that the firewall and the antivirus is off. They work normally but i keep getting thow annoying message every 1 minute and i cant turn it off. Please help.

  • I turned off the pc and the firewall problem was fixed but the folder problem happens again.....

  • ^^ that is what happened to me in Windows 7. After the first restart after changing the registry, my network icon did not show up and my antivirus said it was not on. I checked in the network center and I WAS connected to the internet as usual, then I clicked on the antivirus icon and it changed to green and said it was on. In the customize notification area, the network entry had no icon next to it and neither did my 7 Taskbar Tweeker entry; just those two.

    I restarted again and the antivirus and internet Taskbar Tweeker icon were back to normal.... but my folders keep changing views like before.

  • I restored my registry with the backup I made before I changed the values and downloaded and used the zip provided here. This time after restart, the icon problem didn't happen. I know that I followed all the manual instructions very carefully, double-checking each step so I'm not sure why the difference. It is still not remembering the folder views.

  • THANK YOU VERY MUCH! This is [was] the most annoying problem.

  • I have been looking for other information about this, I found this page on microsoft site. The instructions in the link are very similar to the ones here, with just a few additions. I followed the manual instructions and have not had any problems with folder view settings since. I thought I would leave this here in case it may help anyone else.

  • Thank You from the bottom of my heart.

  • This works great for normal explorer views but when I plug in my android phone and start navigating the camera folders the view changes to silly large icons just like before. To make matters worse even though the default viewer for JPGs is IrfanView, when exploring the camera folder I get that stupid Windows Photo Viewer when I click on an image.

  • Can anyone upload an unmodified version of that registry key? I tried doing this but I screwed it up, and I want to reset.

  • VG

    ^^ There cant be any side effect of this method and script. It just clears folder size and view type settings. Nothing else. What problem are you facing in your computer?

  • Thanks, seems to work well

  • I have this folder problem with Windows 10 (home 64Bit). VERY annoying! However, searching the Registry shows no \Shell folder in the path you suggested!
    The only folder under ...\Microsoft\Windows is Current Version.

    However, there is: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags.
    Can I use this folder in the way you suggest? It has a sub-folder \1

    Your reply would be much appreciated.

  • VG

    ^^ Did you try the automatic Registry script?

  • Just did:
    Extracted the downloaded .zip file, backed up my Registry then ran the automatic fix. Restarted the computer and set some folders (3 different ones) to my preferred layout etc., backed out of there and reloaded each folder but they all still came back to a Details list. Unsuccessful.

  • VG

    ^^ After running Registry script, make sure you follow the steps given in NOTE 2.

  • I went to Folder Options >> View and the APPLY TO ALL FOLDERS was greyed out - not able to select it!

  • VG

    ^^ It seems some registry keys or values are corrupted in your Windows which are causing that button greyed out. You should try sfc /scannow command in Command Prompt to fix corrupted system files and registry values.

  • Worked on W10ENT

  • I opened the command prompt, and received the following message: "You must be an administrator running a console session in order to use the sfc utility."
    I am administrator on this computer, and had the blue Command Window open, with my name/user folder as setting.
    What must I do to carry out this action, please?

  • VG

    ^^ Check following:

  • This didn't do anything for me. For some reason, the properties of several folders across my computer seem to be linked. If I change the folder view type of one folder, it changes a few other completely unrelated folders as well.

  • Unfortunately this does not work for me with Windows 10 Pro.

  • I'm trying to open regedit, it says: "Registry Editor has been disabled by your administrator".

  • VG

    ^^ Check following:

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