General Change Template of Drive, Folder, or Library in Windows 11 File Explorer


  • Staff
Folder_views_banner.png

Windows 11 includes the default General items, Documents, Pictures, Music, and Videos templates used to optimize the layout and view of every drive, folder, or library.

Windows 11 uses Automatic Folder Type Discovery to detect the contents of a folder and automatically optimize the folder for the proper template. If a folder contains a mixture of file types, Windows will use the General items template. If there is an overwhelming number of files with the same file type in a folder, Windows will automatically optimize the folder with the proper template to match the majority.

A template is just a default layout and view, you can customize the layout and view of a folder to how you like in File Explorer.

This tutorial will show you how to manually change the template of a drive, folder, or library for your account in Windows 11.


Contents



EXAMPLE: Default templates

General_Items.png
Documents.png

Pictures.png
Music.png

Videos.png





Option One

Change Template of a Drive or Folder


1 Open File Explorer (Win+E).

2 Perform one of the following actions: (see screenshots below)
  • Select a drive (except Windows "C:" drive) or folder, click/tap on See more (3 dots) button on the command bar, and click/tap on Properties.
  • Right click or press and hold on a drive (except Windows "C:" drive) or folder, and click/tap on Properties.
  • Right click or press and hold on an empty space on the background of an open drive (except Windows "C:" drive) or folder, and click/tap on Properties.
Folder_properties-1.png
Folder_properties-2.png
Folder_properties-3.png

3 Click/tap on the Customize tab in Properties. (see screenshots below step 5)

4 Select the General items, Documents, Pictures, Music, or Videos template you want to optimize this drive or folder for. (see screenshots below step 5)

5 Check or uncheck Also apply this template to all subfolders for what you want.

6 Click/tap on OK. (see screenshots below)

Customize_Properties-1.png
Customize_Properties-2.png





Option Two

Change Template of a Library


1 Open Libraries in File Explorer (Win+E).

2 Perform one of the following actions: (see screenshots below)
  • Right click or press and hold on a library (ex: "Saved Pictures"), and click/tap on Properties.
  • Select a library (ex: "Saved Pictures"), click/tap on See more (3 dots) button on the command bar, and click/tap on Properties.
Library_template-1.png
Library_template-2.png

3 Select the General items, Documents, Pictures, Music, or Videos template you want to optimize this drive or folder for. (see screenshot below step 4)

4 Click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

Library_template-3.png





Option Three

Specify Template for All Drives and Folders using BAT file


Specifying a template for all drives and folders will disable Automatic Folder Type Discovery.

Specifying a template for all drives and folders does not affect the Quick access, This PC, Libraries, and Network shell folders.


1 Do step 2 (undo), step 3 (General items), step 4 (Documents), step 5 (Pictures), step 6 (Music), or step 7 (Videos) below for which template you want to specify.

2 To Undo Specified Template for All Drives and Folders

This is the default setting to undo a specified template for all drives and folders.

This will reset the template and views of all folders back to default, and enable Automatic Folder Type Discovery.


A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the BAT file below, and go to step 8 below.​

Undo_specified_template_for_all_folders_for_current_user.bat


(Contents of BAT file for reference)
Code:
@echo off

Reg Delete "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\BagMRU" /F
Reg Delete "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags" /F

:: To kill and restart explorer
taskkill /f /im explorer.exe
start explorer.exe

3 Specify General items Template for All Drives and Folders

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the BAT file below, and go to step 8 below.​

Specify_all_folders_use_General_Items_template_for_current_user.bat


(Contents of BAT file for reference)
Code:
@echo off

:: Resets folder view settings, window size and position of all folders
Reg Delete "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\BagMRU" /F
Reg Delete "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags" /F

:: To reset "Apply to Folders" views to default for all folder types
REG Delete "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Streams\Defaults" /F

:: Specify General Items template to all folders
REG ADD "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\AllFolders\Shell" /V FolderType /T REG_SZ /D NotSpecified /F


:: To kill and restart explorer
taskkill /f /im explorer.exe
start explorer.exe

4 Specify Documents Template for All Drives and Folders

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the BAT file below, and go to step 8 below.​

Specify_all_folders_use_Documents_template_for_current_user.bat


(Contents of BAT file for reference)
Code:
@echo off

:: Resets folder view settings, window size and position of all folders
Reg Delete "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\BagMRU" /F
Reg Delete "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags" /F

:: To reset "Apply to Folders" views to default for all folder types
REG Delete "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Streams\Defaults" /F

:: Specify Documents template to all folders
REG ADD "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\AllFolders\Shell" /V FolderType /T REG_SZ /D Documents /F


:: To kill and restart explorer
taskkill /f /im explorer.exe
start explorer.exe

5 Specify Pictures Template for All Drives and Folders

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the BAT file below, and go to step 8 below.​

Specify_all_folders_use_Pictures_template_for_current_user.bat


(Contents of BAT file for reference)
Code:
@echo off

:: Resets folder view settings, window size and position of all folders
Reg Delete "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\BagMRU" /F
Reg Delete "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags" /F

:: To reset "Apply to Folders" views to default for all folder types
REG Delete "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Streams\Defaults" /F

:: Specify Pictures template to all folders
REG ADD "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\AllFolders\Shell" /V FolderType /T REG_SZ /D Pictures /F


:: To kill and restart explorer
taskkill /f /im explorer.exe
start explorer.exe

6 Specify Music Template for All Drives and Folders

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the BAT file below, and go to step 8 below.​

Specify_all_folders_use_Music_template_for_current_user.bat


(Contents of BAT file for reference)
Code:
@echo off

:: Resets folder view settings, window size and position of all folders
Reg Delete "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\BagMRU" /F
Reg Delete "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags" /F

:: To reset "Apply to Folders" views to default for all folder types
REG Delete "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Streams\Defaults" /F

:: Specify Music template to all folders
REG ADD "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\AllFolders\Shell" /V FolderType /T REG_SZ /D Music /F


:: To kill and restart explorer
taskkill /f /im explorer.exe
start explorer.exe

7 Specify Videos Template for All Drives and Folders

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the BAT file below, and go to step 8 below.​

Specify_all_folders_use_Videos_template_for_current_user.bat


(Contents of BAT file for reference)
Code:
@echo off

:: Resets folder view settings, window size and position of all folders
Reg Delete "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\BagMRU" /F
Reg Delete "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags" /F

:: To reset "Apply to Folders" views to default for all folder types
REG Delete "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Streams\Defaults" /F

:: Specify Videos template to all folders
REG ADD "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\AllFolders\Shell" /V FolderType /T REG_SZ /D Videos /F


:: To kill and restart explorer
taskkill /f /im explorer.exe
start explorer.exe

8 Save the BAT file to your desktop.

9 Unblock and run the BAT file.

10 You will now notice your screen flicker and a command prompt quickly open and close as the explorer process is restarted to apply the registry changes.

11 When finished, you can delete the downloaded BAT file if you like.


That's it,
Shawn Brink

 

Attachments

  • Undo_specified_template_for_all_folders_for_current_user.bat
    475 bytes · Views: 220
  • Folder_views.png
    Folder_views.png
    10.7 KB · Views: 107
  • Specify_all_folders_use_Documents_template_for_current_user.bat
    931 bytes · Views: 64
  • Specify_all_folders_use_General_Items_template_for_current_user.bat
    938 bytes · Views: 73
  • Specify_all_folders_use_Music_template_for_current_user.bat
    921 bytes · Views: 49
  • Specify_all_folders_use_Pictures_template_for_current_user.bat
    929 bytes · Views: 50
  • Specify_all_folders_use_Videos_template_for_current_user.bat
    923 bytes · Views: 42
Last edited:

hsehestedt

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This works great! I have just one question regarding this:

Let's suppose that I run the batch file to set the template type to "General Items" for all items. After doing so, I navigate to a folder in File Explorer and select View > Extra Large Icons. I notice then that the template type is still set to "General items", as I would expect, but due to my choice it still shows items as large icons, treating it much like it was optimized for pictures.

Note that even if I run the batch file again, the Extra Large Icons will remain the selected option. I understand that this is different than the template type applied to the folder, but it is closely related.

Is anyone aware of a registry or command-line method to just blanket set the view to something else, for example "List"?
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 22H2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Home Built
    CPU
    Intel i7-11700K
    Motherboard
    ASUS Prime Z590-A
    Memory
    128GB Crucial Ballistix 3200MHz DRAM
    Graphics Card(s)
    No GPU - CPU graphics only (for now)
    Sound Card
    Realtek (on motherboard)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP Envy 32
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    1 x 1TB NVMe Gen 4 x 4 SSD
    1 x 2TB NVMe Gen 3 x 4 SSD
    2 x 512GB 2.5" SSDs
    2 x 8TB HD
    PSU
    Corsair HX850i
    Case
    Corsair iCue 5000X RGB
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D15 chromax.black cooler + 10 case fans
    Keyboard
    CODE backlit mechanical keyboard
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1Gb Up / 1 Gb Down
    Browser
    Chromium Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    Additional options installed:
    WiFi 6E PCIe adapter
    ASUS ThunderboltEX 4 PCIe adapter
  • Operating System
    Dual Boot Windows 11 Pro 22H2 and Windows 10 Pro 22H2
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 15-BL012DX
    CPU
    Intel i7-7500U
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Dual Intel HD 620 and Nvidia GeForce 940MX
    Sound Card
    Built-in Realtek HD Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    4k 15-inch
    Screen Resolution
    4k (3840 x 2160)
    Hard Drives
    1TB Seagate FireCuda 510 NVMe SSD
    Internet Speed
    1Gb Up / 1Gb Down
    Browser
    Chromium Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    RAM Upgraded from 16GB to 32GB WiFi Upgraded from WiFi 5 to WiFi 6 SSD upgraded from 512GB NVMe SSD to 1TB Seagate FireCuda 510 NVMe SSD

hsehestedt

Well-known member
Power User
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12:37 AM
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Location
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Windows 11 Pro 22H2
Thanks. Very much appreciated. I was aware of those methods, but unfortunately I was hoping for a command line method so that I could incorporate in my huge batch file that modifies about a bazillion settings within Windows from the defaults to my personal preferences :-)
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 22H2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Home Built
    CPU
    Intel i7-11700K
    Motherboard
    ASUS Prime Z590-A
    Memory
    128GB Crucial Ballistix 3200MHz DRAM
    Graphics Card(s)
    No GPU - CPU graphics only (for now)
    Sound Card
    Realtek (on motherboard)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP Envy 32
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    1 x 1TB NVMe Gen 4 x 4 SSD
    1 x 2TB NVMe Gen 3 x 4 SSD
    2 x 512GB 2.5" SSDs
    2 x 8TB HD
    PSU
    Corsair HX850i
    Case
    Corsair iCue 5000X RGB
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D15 chromax.black cooler + 10 case fans
    Keyboard
    CODE backlit mechanical keyboard
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1Gb Up / 1 Gb Down
    Browser
    Chromium Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    Additional options installed:
    WiFi 6E PCIe adapter
    ASUS ThunderboltEX 4 PCIe adapter
  • Operating System
    Dual Boot Windows 11 Pro 22H2 and Windows 10 Pro 22H2
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 15-BL012DX
    CPU
    Intel i7-7500U
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Dual Intel HD 620 and Nvidia GeForce 940MX
    Sound Card
    Built-in Realtek HD Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    4k 15-inch
    Screen Resolution
    4k (3840 x 2160)
    Hard Drives
    1TB Seagate FireCuda 510 NVMe SSD
    Internet Speed
    1Gb Up / 1Gb Down
    Browser
    Chromium Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    RAM Upgraded from 16GB to 32GB WiFi Upgraded from WiFi 5 to WiFi 6 SSD upgraded from 512GB NVMe SSD to 1TB Seagate FireCuda 510 NVMe SSD

Brink

Administrator
Staff member
MVP
Thread Starter
Local time
12:37 AM
Posts
7,424
Visit site
OS
Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
This works great! I have just one question regarding this:

Let's suppose that I run the batch file to set the template type to "General Items" for all items. After doing so, I navigate to a folder in File Explorer and select View > Extra Large Icons. I notice then that the template type is still set to "General items", as I would expect, but due to my choice it still shows items as large icons, treating it much like it was optimized for pictures.

Note that even if I run the batch file again, the Extra Large Icons will remain the selected option. I understand that this is different than the template type applied to the folder, but it is closely related.

Is anyone aware of a registry or command-line method to just blanket set the view to something else, for example "List"?
Thanks. Very much appreciated. I was aware of those methods, but unfortunately I was hoping for a command line method so that I could incorporate in my huge batch file that modifies about a bazillion settings within Windows from the defaults to my personal preferences :-)

Hello mate, :-)

I've updated the BAT files to include a reset before specifying the template to help with this. This way the template will get applied to all folders each time you run the BAT overriding any current folder view.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    1TB Samsung 980 PRO M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Motorola MB8611 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1
    CPU
    i7-1065G7 3.9 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR4-3200
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Plus
    Sound Card
    Intel SST
    Monitor(s) Displays
    13.3" 4K UWVA AMOLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium

hsehestedt

Well-known member
Power User
VIP
Local time
12:37 AM
Posts
1,335
Location
Texas, USA
Visit site
OS
Windows 11 Pro 22H2
Absol-freaking-loutely cool. It works flawlessly. I just don't know how you do it!

BTW, I think that a quick word of thanks is in order. Over the past few days, I've created a really big batch file that modifies MANY Windows default settings to match my personal preferences. This was done almost exclusively by using your brilliant tutorials. I only have a very tiny list of things I've not figured out yet, but I can deal with having to manually tweak just a tiny handful of items after a clean install.

Thanks again for all the hard work. I can't even begin to express how much this is appreciated.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 22H2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Home Built
    CPU
    Intel i7-11700K
    Motherboard
    ASUS Prime Z590-A
    Memory
    128GB Crucial Ballistix 3200MHz DRAM
    Graphics Card(s)
    No GPU - CPU graphics only (for now)
    Sound Card
    Realtek (on motherboard)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP Envy 32
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    1 x 1TB NVMe Gen 4 x 4 SSD
    1 x 2TB NVMe Gen 3 x 4 SSD
    2 x 512GB 2.5" SSDs
    2 x 8TB HD
    PSU
    Corsair HX850i
    Case
    Corsair iCue 5000X RGB
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D15 chromax.black cooler + 10 case fans
    Keyboard
    CODE backlit mechanical keyboard
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1Gb Up / 1 Gb Down
    Browser
    Chromium Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    Additional options installed:
    WiFi 6E PCIe adapter
    ASUS ThunderboltEX 4 PCIe adapter
  • Operating System
    Dual Boot Windows 11 Pro 22H2 and Windows 10 Pro 22H2
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 15-BL012DX
    CPU
    Intel i7-7500U
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Dual Intel HD 620 and Nvidia GeForce 940MX
    Sound Card
    Built-in Realtek HD Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    4k 15-inch
    Screen Resolution
    4k (3840 x 2160)
    Hard Drives
    1TB Seagate FireCuda 510 NVMe SSD
    Internet Speed
    1Gb Up / 1Gb Down
    Browser
    Chromium Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    RAM Upgraded from 16GB to 32GB WiFi Upgraded from WiFi 5 to WiFi 6 SSD upgraded from 512GB NVMe SSD to 1TB Seagate FireCuda 510 NVMe SSD

Brink

Administrator
Staff member
MVP
Thread Starter
Local time
12:37 AM
Posts
7,424
Visit site
OS
Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
Absol-freaking-loutely cool. It works flawlessly. I just don't know how you do it!

BTW, I think that a quick word of thanks is in order. Over the past few days, I've created a really big batch file that modifies MANY Windows default settings to match my personal preferences. This was done almost exclusively by using your brilliant tutorials. I only have a very tiny list of things I've not figured out yet, but I can deal with having to manually tweak just a tiny handful of items after a clean install.

Thanks again for all the hard work. I can't even begin to express how much this is appreciated.

You're always most welcome. :party:
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    1TB Samsung 980 PRO M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Motorola MB8611 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1
    CPU
    i7-1065G7 3.9 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR4-3200
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Plus
    Sound Card
    Intel SST
    Monitor(s) Displays
    13.3" 4K UWVA AMOLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium

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