Vista and "sort by _" and "view _" folder settings changing from what I set it to

Nov 23, 2008
I bought a computer back in December with Windows Vista 64-Bit Home Premium. I set most folders to "view list" and either "sort by date modified" ascending or "sort by name" ascending. It seems like most of the time when I go to a folder after having changed another folder's "view _____" or "sort by _____" or ascending\descending settings regardless of of what directory it's in, the folder will have changed to different "view by _____" and\or "sort by _____" and\or ascending\descending settings. Anybody know of a fix?:confused: Thanks!:)


Fully [H]
Feb 19, 2008
Welcome to probably the most irritating Vista problem in existence. Microsoft has not even acknowledged that this is a problem yet the web is absolutely overrun by people complaining about it.

The problem is there is left over XP code and the folder settings are stored in 2 places, one for XP and one for Vista. Also, the automatic folder 'sense' that Vista has, where it determines the contents and adjust the folder accordingly, effects it. Those 3 registry keys basically fight over the settings. I've actually had the folders reset, then go back on their own before. Basically the fix that people have the best luck with is erasing the XP keys, increasing the 'bag' size, to store more folder information, and to disable the auto sense. You then have to manually set folders to Music, Pictures and Video, etc...

1. Go to Control Panel, Appearance and Personalization -> Folder Options.
2. View tab -> Uncheck Remember each folder view settings.
3. Press Reset all folders, then apply to all folders. Press apply, then OK.
4. Run the following registry file. Copy this text into a Notepad file. Save it as 'all files', so you can add your own extension. Name it something like Fix.reg ... it will appear as a registry file that merges with the registry.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

; This is a Vista ONLY Folder Repair tool, This tool will force Vista to remember your folder settings by
; Modifying registry entries. Descriptions below explain what each step is doing.
; Steps:
; Clear out Folder Settings left over from XP:

; Clear out Folder Settings for Vista
[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\BagMRU]
[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags]

; Modify the Folder Storage space to 20000, this will allow the saving of settings for up to 20000 different folders.
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell]
"BagMRU Size"=dword:00004e20

; Turn off Vista's Auto Template Discovery. This keeps vista from deciding on it's own what type
; of Folder you have (ie, picture, videos, docs, etc) This will keep vista from changing what you
; have already set for a folder as well. Notice this value is in the Bags Key that was deleted
; in the settings above. Remember this is there, because if you decide to manually go delete
; your Bags Key, you will lose this value and auto-discovery will turn back on again.

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\AllFolders\Shell]

5. It will warn you, press yes, files merge. IMMEDIATELY reboot, all registry changes like this need reboot to take effect.
6. Go back and press the checkmark "remember each folders settings" , apply, then OK.
7. Set up folders


Fully [H]
Feb 19, 2008
I've done this before without disabling the Auto Discovery/Sense, and it ends up messing up again. So it's important to not take that part out.

Another tip is, I get irritated with those contacts, search, links etc folders in your user folder. I hide them. right click->properties->hidden, then reboot and their gone. You can delete them but it messes up your searches so hiding them is the best way to get rid of them, but VIsta sees them just fine. Just make sure when you hide Desktop folder, you don't press apply to sub folders or else everything on your desktop will disappear.