How to Reset the Folder View Settings in Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10


Folder view settings include column preferences, view mode, grouping and sorting order, window size etc. If Windows forgets your folder view settings, you may want to reset the views sometimes to clear out corrupt settings and start afresh. Here is the information on how to completely clear the folder view customizations in Windows Vista, 7, 8 and Windows 10.

Completely Resetting Folder Views (Using Script)

Download, unzip and run the enclosed Vbscript file reset_folder_views.vbs

Click Yes to continue.

You’ll see a couple of Command Prompt windows opening and closing, and then the shell restarts. This clears the folder view settings.

Completely Resetting Folder Views (Manual)

1. Click Start, type Regedit.exe and press {ENTER}

2. Navigate to the following keys one by one:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\BagMRU

3. Right-click each key and click Export. Save the branch to separate .REG files.

4. Right-click on the Bags key and choose Delete

5. Right-click on the BagMRU key and choose Delete

6. Exit the Registry Editor.

It’s important that you restart Windows Explorer (Shell) after clearing out the above key. See Terminate and Restart Explorer.exe in Windows 7 and Vista or How to Exit Explorer and Restart Explorer in Windows 10 and Windows 8?

This clears the individual folder views, window size and related settings.

Resetting Folder View Settings for a particular Folder "Type"

Windows has these 5 templates for customizing folders: General Items, Documents, Pictures, Music, Videos.

To reset the folder views for all folders of a particular type or template, use these steps:

Open the particular folder, say Pictures. Access the "Folder Options" dialog, via:

For Windows Vista & 7: On the toolbar, click Organize, and then click Folder and search options.

For Windows 8 & 10: Click View in the ribbon, click the Options button, and click Change folder and search options.

Click the View tab, and click the Reset Folders button. Click Yes.


This resets the folder view settings for all folders of type Pictures (in this example.)


About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.

3 thoughts on “How to Reset the Folder View Settings in Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10”

  1. Hi,

    Regarding Windows Live Mail under Windows 7 64-bit:

    Is there a way to keep the storage folders from expanding and showing all of their sub folders on a “copy to” or “move to” of a Live Mail note? We have a lot of storage folders, each with multiple sub folders. It’s quite a chore to troll down through all the the folders to get to the one we desire. I would rather have each storage folder root be displayed and let me choose which storage folder to expand on a save or move operation…

    Thanks for all your support and shortcuts!


  2. I have no idea what “Clearing folder views” is or what effect it will have on my files. Unfortunately it is the first step in disabling the auto arrange feature. Can you please explain exactly what this does so I can decide whether or not to do it? Thanks.

  3. Using Eusing Registry Cleaner and scanned over 1000 “empty Windows shell bags”. Is it safe to delete them and what are “shell bags”. Just curious and experimenting with different software. I always do a backup when doing stuff like this but would like to know.


    George Melendez

    Puerto Rico

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