General Reset Folder View Settings to Default in Windows 11 File Explorer


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Folder_views_banner.png

This tutorial will show you how to reset folder view settings to default for your account in Windows 11.

You can change the folder view settings in Windows 11 to what you want for each separate folder.

Folder view settings include the File Explorer window size, template, columns, column width, Group by, Sort by, and layout view of items in each folder, and the width size of the details, navigation, and preview pane in File Explorer.

If needed or wanted, you can reset view settings back to default for all folders or only all folders of the same template type.

Resetting view settings will restore the default view settings of the template used by each folder.


Contents

  • Option One: Reset View Settings of All Folders using BAT file
  • Option Two: Only Reset View Settings of All Folders with Same Template Type as Current Folder




Option One

Reset View Settings of All Folders using BAT file


1 Open Notepad.exe.

2 Copy and paste the code below into Notepad.

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

:: To reset size of details, navigation, preview panes to default for all folders
Reg Delete "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Modules\GlobalSettings\Sizer" /F
Reg Delete "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Modules\NavPane" /F

:: To reset size of Save as amd Open dialogs to default for all folders
Reg Delete "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\CIDOpen" /F
Reg Delete "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\CIDSave" /F
Reg Delete "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ComDlg32" /F

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

2 Save the TXT file as a BAT file with the Reset_folder_view_settings_of_all_folders_to_default_for_current_user.bat name.

Be sure to rename the the TXT file extension to BAT.


3 Run the BAT file.

4 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.

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




Option Two

Only Reset View Settings of All Folders with Same Template Type as Current Folder


1 Open File Explorer (Win+E).

2 Open a folder using a template (ex: "General items") type you want to reset all folders of the same same type to default view settings.

3 Click/tap on the See more (3 dots) button on the command bar, and click/tap on Options. (see screenshot below)

Reset_all_folders_of_same_type_to_default_view_settings-1.png

4 Click/tap on the View tab, and click/tap on the Reset Folders button. (see screenshot below)

Reset_all_folders_of_same_type_to_default_view_settings-2.png

5 Click/tap on Yes to confirm. (see screenshot below)

Reset_all_folders_of_same_type_to_default_view_settings-3.png

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

Reset_all_folders_of_same_type_to_default_view_settings-4.png


That's it,
Shawn Brink

 

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Last edited:
I wanted to use Option 1: Reset View Settings of All Folders using BAT file

My steps:
- Click Download
- No file on Desktop
- Click Download again
- This time File Expl opened a dialog, asking for target location. Selected Desktop
- In list of files already on Desktop, I saw:
"Change_Windows_10_11_folder_icons"
That's why I couldn't see a file named: "Reset_folder_view_settings_of_all_folders_to_default_for_current_user.bat"
- Click on file: "Change_Windows....BAT"
- Blue dialog:"Windows protected your PC. Microsoft Defender SmartScreen prevented an unrecognised app from starting. Running this app might put your PC at risk.
- I clicked "Run"
- Got warnings from BitDefender and Macrium Image Guardian. I can give you brief text of these if you want.

Thanks
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 17
In BitDefender, you may have to turn off "Advanced Threat Defense".

An alternative to the batch file is to use my app WinSetView. It includes an option to reset all folder views to Windows defaults. Or you can use it to set all folder views to your preferred defaults.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10/11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer
Just to add to my first post, I lost both gmail accounts in my Thunderbird. They were OK at startup this morning.

My memory is no longer reliable, so I'm wondering how many other things are wrecked without my knowledge.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 17
An alternative to the batch file is to use my app WinSetView. It includes an option to reset all folder views to Windows defaults. Or you can use it to set all folder views to your preferred defaults.
.
I'm going to try this. Thanks

What do I need to do first ?

I have yesterday's Macrium.

Do I need to...

...turn off "Advanced Threat Defense".

Thanks
.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 17
Yes, you would need to turn off "Advanced Threat Defense".
.
Bit Defender (BD) is still blocking. I set the following BD option:

- Protection > Advanced > Bit Defender Shield > Off

I asked for 30 minutes, but BD was still blocking. So it's now set to wake after machine restart.

But BD throws several popups about infections and disinfections.

I wanted a quick sanity check to determine whether BD is actually preventing stuff - or simply complaining. So I accepted all defaults, with one exception: Theme was set to Dark1. I pressed Submit

There was no change to Theme in File Explorer, so BD is still blocking.

Any suggestions ?

Thanks
.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 17
Bit Defender (BD) is still blocking.
Well, I'm puzzled. I just installed BitDefender (free) and left everything set to default settings. I then downloaded, extracted, and ran WinSetView without any issue. Nothing was blocked. In the past, I had to turn off Advanced Threat Defense, but not today. Are you running the paid version? Maybe that makes a difference.

1691429976694.png
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10/11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer
I've advanced to the stage where I can run WSV without interference from BD.

I had been using this link to disable BD:

The link is dated 2021. But that's probably equivalent to 50 years by the speed of modern advances.

For WSV, I accepted all defaults, except for the sanity check using Theme = Dark 1

When I clicked Submit, I could see all the transactions being implemented. Then File Explorer was presented.

No change.

I restarted laptop (Dell XPS 17). Still no change.

I restarted laptop (Dell XPS 17). Still no change

Are you running the paid version? Maybe that makes a difference.
.
I have the paid BD. I suppose if I really wanted a sanity check, I would uninstall BD.

I was wondering if I have several FileExplorer.exe. In which case, I might use one version, and WSV modifies another version:

1691484858993.png


Thanks
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 17
WinSetView only sets registry values that Explorer uses for its default settings. It doesn't modify the exe, so it doesn't matter how many exes are in the Windows folder.

Explorer is often referred to as "File Explorer" to distinguish it from "Internet Explorer", but the executable is just "Explorer.exe". The executable named "FileExplorer.exe" is a very basic file manager designed for tablets that has very limited view options. It looks like this:

1691519250230.png


If WinSetView ran through to completion, it should have reset all of your Explorer folder views. Using the WinSetView default settings, you should have ended up with Details view, with column headings of Name, Date modified, Type, Size, for all folder types. What view(s) did you end up with after running WinSetView?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10/11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer
you should have ended up with Details view, with column headings of Name, Date modified, Type, Size, for all folder types. What view(s) did you end up with after running WinSetView?
.
Exactly those columns :-)

However, nothing is proved or disproved, because those are my preferred settings. However, some of my folders are a mess. I would like to do a global "reset" by changing ALL settings to those four values, then changing other folders individually on an ad hoc basis. (For example, Photos)

The good news is that I believe it's highly likely that WSV works :)

I tested two candidates on the Properties page,

- Show file extensions
- Unhide the AppData folder

I was able to toggle both properties in either direction.

The Dark theme doesn't work - although it works in the WSV UI. But I was using that only as sanity check.

Some issues:

- WSV needs to be re-opened after each Submit operation.
- I was nervous about pressing "Restore", because the button does not have the standard 3 dots to launch a dialog.

I wanted to test Restore by simply walking backwards through the REG files. I could see the REG commands flashing up in the DOS console. I assumed that my candidate properties would toggle between hide and unhide. But, in fact, nothing changed in the UI - file extensions were alway shown, and AppData was always visible.

As soon as I noticed this anomaly, I closed and re-opened WE after each Restore, because I don't know if WE is updated interactively. It made no difference - file extensions and AppData were always visible. Most peculiar :-)

Thanks
.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 17
Exactly those columns. However, nothing is proved or disproved, because those are my preferred settings. However, some of my folders are a mess. I would like to do a global "reset" by changing ALL settings to those four values, then changing other folders individually on an ad hoc basis. (For example, Photos)

WinSetView completely clears out all saved folder views every time it's run, so all folders should revert to whatever defaults you've set using WinSetView. Since you went with the defaults, all of your folders, whether they're type General items, Documents, Pictures, Music, or Videos should all end up in Details view with those four column headings. The only exception are special locations, such as Home (Quick Access), Control Panel, Recycle Bin, and so forth.

Which folders are still a "mess" after running WinSetView?

- WSV needs to be re-opened after each Submit operation.

That's working as designed, since the idea is to set all of your preferred defaults in one session. I understand if you're experimenting, and trying different options, you'll be running it multiple times, but relaunching is quick and you're previous settings are automatically reloaded.

- I was nervous about pressing "Restore", because the button does not have the standard 3 dots to launch a dialog.

I will have to refer you to the manual on that one:

Restore

Select and restore a backup file to return Explorer views to a previous state.

This button will appear after first run (i.e. after Submit has been clicked). Each time you click Submit, the PowerShell script makes a backup of the user’s Explorer view registry keys to a date-time-named file. The Restore button will bring up a dialog to let you pick a backup file to restore. Since it’s a standard file dialog, you can use the same interface to delete any unwanted backups by selecting them and right-clicking to get a Delete option.

I wanted to test Restore by simply walking backwards through the REG files. I could see the REG commands flashing up in the DOS console. I assumed that my candidate properties would toggle between hide and unhide. But, in fact, nothing changed in the UI - file extensions were alway shown, and AppData was always visible.

You can't restore to a previous state by directly applying one of the REG files because certain registry keys must first be cleared (and the reg files do not contain any delete entries), Explorer has to be restarted, and so forth. The Restore has to be done by WinSetView.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10/11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer
I don't know how to handle quotes within quotes within quotes. So I'll do quotes manually.


@LesFerch said:​

Which folders are still a "mess" after running WinSetView?
---------------------------------

I think that's just another example of my bad English. I was using a sentence in the present tense to describe a situation which I knew to be true in the recent past - and is still likely to be true unless I use a tool such as WSV.

A more accurate statement might have been: "some of my folders were a mess - so they are likely to be still a mess because I haven't visited them recently".

@LesFerch said:​

I will have to refer you to the manual on that one:

Restore

---------------------------------

I was merely suggesting that "Restore" should have been "Restore...".

For example, if I click the "File" command at top left of Firefox browser, I see entries such as:

- Open File...
- Save Page As...

Ellipsis Property - Business Central

I pressed "Restore" anyway, because I always have recent Macrium backups. Otherwise I would not have pressed it.

Thanks
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 17
I was merely suggesting that "Restore" should have been "Restore...".
Oh! Interesting. I never even thought about that as an interface standard. I suppose the ellipsis does convey that more is to come, but I'm not sure if it's universal (WinSetView supports 30+ languages) so I think I'll leave it as is. But thanks for the clarification!
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10/11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer

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