Windows 11 Folder View Bugs


LesFerch

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Setting the folder type (aka folder optimization) does not work reliably in Windows 11.

I've tested the Change Template of a Drive or Folder on four different Windows 11 machines so far and it's broken on all of them, especially when using removable media. The issue is that the template remains stuck at General items for some, most, or all subfolders. I've submitted a report via the Feedback Hub to join the others already there. The oldest report of this issue dates back 10 months and Microsoft tagged a couple of the similar reports with "Looking into it", but I'm not convinced anything is being done.

To see the similar reports, search the Feedback Hub with these keywords: folder type optimize

Please try it yourself and let me know your results. I've found that setting the folder type works for the root of a drive, but cannot be set reliably for a folder tree (even just a couple of folders deep). Even if you painstakingly set each individual folder, many will revert back to General items. Below is the test procedure I followed, but you should be able to replicate the issue with any folder tree:

Step 1: Format a flash drive with any file system.

Step 2: Create a folder structure at least two levels deep, such as:

Code:
Files\
  F1\
    File1.txt
    File2.txt
  F2\
    File1.txt
    File2.txt
  F3\
    File1.txt
    File2.txt

Note: the file types are irrelevant, We are NOT testing folder type discovery. We're testing the ability to MANUALLY set the folder type.

Step 3: Right-click the top-level folder and select Properties, Customize, and, from the Optimize this folder for menu, select Music (or Pictures), click the check box Also apply this template to all subfolders and then click OK.

Step 4: Open all the subfolders and you should see that some or all are stuck at General items.

If you can confirm the bug, please up vote one or more of the existing reports or even submit your own similar report. The squeaky wheel gets the oil, but I get the impression that not enough squeaking has happened on this issue (yet).
 

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Alex__ASSR

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good if I understand, I recorded a video, and the folders only become an example image folder if you put images inside, the same for music and videos so logically if you paste text documents into folders they will always be general items.
And you don't need to change manually, windows identifies and changes by itself!
1664336233185.png
 

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LesFerch

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good if I understand, I recorded a video, and the folders only become an example image folder if you put images inside, the same for music and videos so logically if you paste text documents into folders they will always be general items.
And you don't need to change manually, windows identifies and changes by itself!

As I stated, this is NOT about automatic folder type discovery. This is about manually setting the folder type for a tree of folders. That's what does not work reliably in Windows 11. Whether File Explorer does or does not automatically set the folder type based on its contents is irrelevant. Since Windows 7, File Explorer has always provided the option for the user to set the folder type for one folder or a whole folder tree. That feature is broken in Windows 11.

And if you do more testing with a lot of folders, you will find folders that only contain JPG files stuck as General items and cannot be set to Pictures. Same for MP3 and Music and so on. It's seriously broken.
 

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Alex__ASSR

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As I stated, this is NOT about automatic folder type discovery. This is about manually setting the folder type for a tree of folders. That's what does not work reliably in Windows 11. Whether File Explorer does or does not automatically set the folder type based on its contents is irrelevant. Since Windows 7, File Explorer has always provided the option for the user to set the folder type for one folder or a whole folder tree. That feature is broken in Windows 11.

And if you do more testing with a lot of folders, you will find folders that only contain JPG files stuck as General items and cannot be set to Pictures. Same for MP3 and Music and so on. It's seriously broken.
this option of choosing the type of folder is outdated, what's the point of you defining the folder for music and putting images inside, or for images and putting text documents?
does not make sense.
and things have changed, everything is getting very practical, not having to define a folder, for general files and there are only images inside, it's a folder of images!
Anyway, whatever, for me it's working perfect.

and the manual setting mode is working, i just set the images sub folder to general items and it stayed as general items, including the inline organization
 

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DigitalGoat

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Have just tried this out and yes the OP is correct, it does appear to be broken.
A folder with only pictures inside, a mix of .png & .jpg, when set to type pictures reverts to general items when viewed later, a folder with only .png or only .jpg also reverts.

An oddity I found is a folder containing around 200 music albums, sorted into individual folders inside. The top most folder I called Audio is correctly set as type music (not aware I had done that even) yet each folder inside is set to general items, folders containing just .mp3s, just .wavs or a mix, and/or containing album art.
Checking the box on the top most folder to apply the same setting to folders inside results in no change to any of the folders but also changes the top most folder to general items from music.

Maybe this is something MS is working on at their usual glacial speed or perhaps it is a deprecated feature and they are yet to notify us about it.
My personal take is that I am not concerned as I do not use the feature, even the little preview icon on the folders is a bit pointless, for me, other than to let you know a folder isn't empty at a glance, as it can only hint at one type of file inside at a time.
 

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LesFerch

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this option of choosing the type of folder is outdated, what's the point of you defining the folder for music and putting images inside, or for images and putting text documents?
does not make sense.
and things have changed, everything is getting very practical, not having to define a folder, for general files and there are only images inside, it's a folder of images!
Anyway, whatever, for me it's working perfect.

and the manual setting mode is working, i just set the images sub folder to general items and it stayed as general items, including the inline organization

The whole reason this issue has been noticed, and reported on Feedback Hub, is because even folders that contain a single file type, such as JPG, are being set by File Explorer to General items and the folder type refuses to change to Pictures. Same for folders of MP3s and folder type Music and so on.

If the automatic folder type discovery is "working perfect" for you, that's great, but it isn't for a lot of people. I suspect it's just as broken on your computer, but you just don't have enough nested folders of one type, be it Pictures, or Music or whatever to have noticed.

And your test for manually setting the folder type is completely backwards. As I said, folders are being stuck at General items, so how can you refute the issue by setting a folder tree to General items? Try setting a whole folder tree to Pictures or Music.
 

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LesFerch

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Have just tried this out and yes the OP is correct, it does appear to be broken.
A folder with only pictures inside, a mix of .png & .jpg, when set to type pictures reverts to general items when viewed later, a folder with only .png or only .jpg also reverts.

Thank you!
 

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LesFerch

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this option of choosing the type of folder is outdated, what's the point of you defining the folder for music and putting images inside, or for images and putting text documents? does not make sense. and things have changed, everything is getting very practical, not having to define a folder, for general files and there are only images inside, it's a folder of images!

And to be very clear, I agree with you on that point, but File Explorer doesn't always get the folder type correct, so there has to be a way to override the automatic folder type discovery. Also, when you organize your photos or music and put the files into subfolders, the upper level folders, that once held files, but now only hold folders, don't automatically revert to General items (and I'm talking here about when its working as designed). So, again another reason to have an override.

You may not have noticed, but I'm the developer of WinSetView. The point of that app is to set the default folder views for every folder type (not just the main five types) to your preferred views, so that you rarely, if ever, have to set any views manually. This functionality is broken if Windows is refusing to change some folders (that contain pictures or music or videos etc.) to anything other than General items, as is certainly the case right now with Windows 11.
 

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flashh4

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Not a problem on my end !
 

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LesFerch

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Here's a video I made that demonstrates the folder view issues with Windows 11.

Note: If your "removable" drive mounts as "Local Disk" in Windows 11, then it's a fixed disk in terms of the described behavior.
 
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And this is on removable drives only?
 

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Edwin

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In the video, when you customized, you never click on Apply. 🤷‍♂️
 

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Edwin

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When I set Views, I go to each folder of a certain viewing type, plus a couple special ones like Recycle Bin and Programs and Features...,
I do the Apply to all folders thing...

0002172.png

... and the views stick, including removable drives, for the duration that they are attached.
 

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LesFerch

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In the video, when you customized, you never click on Apply. 🤷‍♂️
Clicking OK is the same as clicking Apply+OK. That's been a standard since Windows has existed. The only reason there is an Apply button is so that you can apply the change without exiting the dialog.
 

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LesFerch

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When I set Views, I go to each folder of a certain viewing type, plus a couple special ones like Recycle Bin and Programs and Features...,
I do the Apply to all folders thing...

View attachment 48172

... and the views stick, including removable drives, for the duration that they are attached.

That's not the issue. The issue is that you cannot change the folder type on removable drives period (it's always stuck at type General items) and you cannot override the automatically detected folder type on fixed drives.
 

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LesFerch

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... for the duration that they are attached.
On Windows 10, both the folder type settings (and of course the views for those types), and any directly applied folder views, are persistent on removable drives, whether you detach/attach or even reboot. On Windows 11, directly applied views are also persistent with removable drives. And if folder type changes on removable drives actually worked on Windows 11, as they do on Windows 10, I'm sure those changes would stick too.

And to be clear, folder views are stored in the registry, not on the disk, so the views do not travel from one machine to another. The views for a removable drive are, therefore, per machine. If I set Details view on machine A and Icons view on machine B, for the same USB drive, it will always be Details on machine A and Icons on machine B.
 

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Edwin

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All good points...

Mine remains consistent..., I don't get too worked up about it, MS is constantly feckin around with stuff anyway! ;-)
 

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