Sunday, November 22, 2009

Haja Peer Mohamed H

Force Explorer To Remember Its Own Settings | Customise Explorer In Windows Vista And Windows 7

One of the most common annoyances with Windows Explorer is, well, annoying, because it should’ve been so simple for Microsoft to get it right. How many times have you selected the Details view in Explorer, only to find that it has reverted to the Large Icons view the next time you open the folder?


For the most part, Windows Explorer’s apparent inability to remember its own settings is the result of a battle among three opposing forces: your saved settings, Vista’s propensity to show thumbnail previews for media files, and some poor coding on Microsoft’s part.

First, open the Folder Options window, turn on the View tab, turn on the Remember each folder’s view settings option, and click OK. Thereafter, Windows Explorer will temporarily save the settings for roughly 30 of the most recently viewed folders. Most of the time, these saved settings override your saved defaults. But how do you change the defaults?

Your choices are stored in the Registry rather than in the folders themselves, which not only explains the limit on the number of folders Explorer can remember, but exposes a rather annoying flaw in the system.

Say you choose the view settings for a folder called bench3. When you close and reopen bench3 right away, your settings will remain. However, if you rename the bench3 folder to, say, Haja, it will instantly revert to Explorer’s defaults and forget the settings you made only seconds earlier.

If you’re tired of constantly having to go back to Explorer’s View dropdown to change the icon size, or having to click the column headers to sort file listings, you can set your own defaults. But Explorer’s use of your defaults won’t make much sense until you figure out Vista’s clandestine template system.

A template is a collection of folder display settings that includes the view (e.g., Large Icons, Details, etc.), the sorting method, and the columns displayed.

Each time you open a folder, Windows Seven Or Vista automatically picks one of the five preset templates, and uses those settings to configure the view. And herein lies the source of the problem: Windows Vista / Seven is no good at picking the default template. You might open a folder full of HTML web page documents, and Explorer will choose the template for music files. Or, a folder with nothing but photos will show up in the Details view, rather than thumbnails (Large Icons).

Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to change how Vista chooses its templates, nor can you remove or create your own templates. But you can customize the view settings for each template so that when Windows Explorer does get it right, you’ll get the view you need.

But you may soon realize that Windows gets it wrong too often, and customizing the templates just isn’t enough. In this case, the solution is to duplicate your favorite view settings across every template, so no matter which template Windows picks, you’ll get the view you need:

1. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to any folder with files in it. (This won’t work with drives, so make sure the folder isn’t a root folder.)

2. Right-click the folder in the tree, select Properties, and choose the Customize tab. Or right-click an empty area of the folder background and select Customize This Folder.

See the “Missing the Customize Tab?” sidebar, next, if these options aren’t present.
Missing the Customize Tab?
If you don’t see the Customize tab in the Properties window for a folder, all you need is a quick Registry hack to fix the problem.

Open the Registry Editor (regedit) and expand the branches to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shellex\PropertySheetHandlers. Look for a subkey named {ef43ecfe-2ab9-4632-bf21-58909dd177f0}; if it isn’t there, create a new key with that name by going to Edit ➝ New ➝ Key.

Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer. Double-click the NoCustomizeThisFolder value in the right pane, type 0 (zero) in the Value data field, and click OK. Do the same for the NoCustomizeWebView and ClassicShell values. (If any of these values are absent, skip ’em.)

And finally, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\policies\Explorer, and if the Explorer key is present, set the same three values to 0 (zero). Close the Registry Editor when you’re done, restart Windows, and try again.
3. From the Use this folder type as a template listbox, select the first entry, All Items, and then click OK.

4. Set your view settings, column headers, and sorting to your taste.

5. Open the Organize drop-down, select Folder and Search Options, and then choose the View tab.

6. Click the Apply to Folders button, answer Yes, and then click OK.

7. Repeat steps 3–6 for each of the other four templates: Documents, Pictures and Videos, Music Details, and Music Icons.

That’s it; now you have five identical templates, and you no longer need to care whether or not Windows Seven Or Vista knows what kind of files are in each folder.

Haja Peer Mohamed H

About Haja Peer Mohamed H -

Haja Peer Mohamed H, Software Engineer by profession, Author, Founder and CEO of "bench3" you can connect with me on Twitter , Facebook and also onGoogle+

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