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Explorer Folder View Customization - what were they thinking?


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Here’s something about Vista that drives me absolutely nuts: Explorer seems to randomly select views for my folders that are not reflecting the right settings. This is horribly annoying. Instead of seeing a detail view of my Explorer folder I get this:

 

 

Real useful ain't it?

 

The view apparently is a Pictures and Videos view that instead of the usual dates and file type shows ratings  and tags. It looks like if there are media files like images (the single waiting.gif image in this folder), video or music in the folder that the view is switched and it overrides whatever other settings I have made globally.

 

I can override these settings on an individual folder fairly easily by right clicking in the directory (on empty space in the actual content view) where you can set the template and select All Items:

 

 

It's hidden in this screen shot by the dropdown, but there's a checkbox that lets you assign this template for subfolders. Unfortunately you can’t do this on the root drive or inside the root directory, but you can do inside of  top level directories like Program Files folder for example. I’ve applied this setting in just about all of my top level folders and it’s working properly now, but it sucks that this is necessary at all.

 

But WTF? Why YET ANOTHER DIALOG of views on how to display this data and another set of configuration settings. First there's the view drop down which is at least is easily accessible although I see all sorts of inconsistencies with these views (details, thumbnails, list etc.)...


Note that Explorer’s Tools | Folder Options dialog lets you configure all folder view settings for the whole system and there’s an optoin to apply the current settings to all folders. But that setting has no effect on this part of the view so it looks like this explicit step is necessary.

 

As it is Explorer jumps way to often to a view that I never set. Why for example, do I often see a thumbnails view on an Explorer folder when I have set (or have tried to set) Details view for everything? I know you can screw up your folder settings by navigating to local folders with Internet Explorer which will always use some sort of thumbnail view, but I'm pretty sure that I've never done this (<s> - sure, sure)... The last thing I need is *another way* that Windows screws with the view settings 'automagically'.

 

Brummm....

 

Posted in Vista  

The Voices of Reason


 

John Walker
January 12, 2007

# re: Explorer Folder View Customization - what were they thinking?

This is one of my annoyances too. Ughhh!

Nicholas
January 13, 2007

# re: Explorer Folder View Customization - what were they thinking?

Well, Vista treats each "type" of folder as it's own different bundle of settings. So even if you go in and say "remember these settings", it doesn't apply them to ALL folders, only ones of that type. Say you had a bunch of images open, and changed them to be details, then clicked the "set all" button -- only your image-type folders would default to details view from that point forward.

Same goes for the "Reset" button. I wish there was a "reset all folder types" button, as my views are all screwy...

Rick Strahl
January 13, 2007

# re: Explorer Folder View Customization - what were they thinking?

Nicholas, are you sure about that? When I Reset All Folders in the Explorer options it looks like it indeed resets all of my folders and I'm good for a while again. Until at some point some folders start once again showing different views even though I have Explorer set to not remember individual folder settings.

It's annoying but minor I suppose. It's been an issue in every Windows version I can remember. It's probably a useful feature for most average home users but it's really lame that you can't fix the display format to one type of display unless explicitly overridden manually...

Eric Golpe
January 13, 2007

# re: Explorer Folder View Customization - what were they thinking?

Yes, This is SUPER annoying, I have it happenning to me in 5744 64 as well! Annoying!Thanks for pointing it out too! Now I know I'm not alone in my thoughts "I thought I already set that... " <s>

Nicholas
January 14, 2007

# re: Explorer Folder View Customization - what were they thinking?

Pretty sure, Rick. It threw me for a loop, since it worked differently in XP.

jimmy
July 10, 2007

# re: Explorer Folder View Customization - what were they thinking?

Does anyone have any ideas where windows stores the information for each folder's customization - I'd like to write a little application to fix this problem

Valacer
August 28, 2007

# re: Explorer Folder View Customization - what were they thinking?

My god this is infuriating, i would dearly love someone to fix this 'feature' of vista. I universally want to sort ALL of my folders by size and date modified.....

Spoonman
September 10, 2007

# re: Explorer Folder View Customization - what were they thinking?

You're kinda missing the point of the feature. The feature is there to manage documents better. I like using the extra large icons view for pictures and videos, but I prefer details for other things. A universal view doesn't work for me. If it works for you, great, you can set it that way, but just because you don't use the system the way it was designed doesn't mean it's broken.

(BTW, speaking of broken: your captcha should specify that it's case-sensitive)

Rick Strahl
September 10, 2007

# re: Explorer Folder View Customization - what were they thinking?

@Spoonman - I'd be OK with that if Vista would just respect the setting I give it. It doesn't - at some point it'll revert to what it thinks is best both with the View and the Customization options.

This is one of the most complained about features in Vista so I'm not alone...

Andre
November 23, 2007

# re: Explorer Folder View Customization - what were they thinking?

No! You are not alone! That is so damn annoying. And if Windows sniffing the contents to decide what folder view to apply is not enough, from time to time Windows "forgets" the customizations I've made to some folders. So suddenly I see a folder with a bunch of dlls as huge icons.

Check this tutorial to answer most of your questions.
http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/70819-windows-explorer-folder-view-settings.html

It explains how to reset everything back to default, how to disable content sniffing, how to increase Explorer's memory, etc.

I truly hope they come up with a better solution on SP1 (though I think they won't).

E71
April 24, 2009

# re: Explorer Folder View Customization - what were they thinking?

Yup. Really annoying stuff.

Another annoyance... where's the 'up a level' button? Surely they could have provided some legacy features for those who don't want to play around with the path breadcrumbs.

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