[Fix] Search Results defaults to Content View in Windows 10

When you search for files using Windows 10 File Explorer, the search results page may default to “Content” view every time which some users don’t like. Although you can change the view to Details, or any other view setting manually, the change affects only that folder, or the search results view settings may not stick at all.

search results content view windows 10

This happens when searching files in a folder optimized for “General items”. Whereas when you search for files in Pictures and Videos folder, the search results view defaults to icons view, which is what most people prefer.

Set Search Results default view mode to Details

To make search results (for Generic folders) use Details view by default, I made a registry fix. Follow the steps below.

1. Download fix_generic_search_results_view_w10.zip (zipped), extract the REG file and save to desktop. This REG file clears saved folder views and sets Details view mode as the default for Search Results folder.

2. Logoff and login back or do a clean restart of the Explorer shell

3. Right-click the REG file and choose Merge. This applies the settings to the registry.

search results content view windows 10

That’s it. Do a file search in a folder optimized for “General Items”. Search results should default to “Details” view from now on.

Note: If the above doesn’t still work, reset saved folder views using my script or manual procedure in article: How to Reset Folder View Settings in Windows?. Then re-apply the above REG file.

search results content view windows 10

Contents of the Registry File

Here is the contents of the REG file in case you want to make one of your own.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

;Fixes search results defaults to Content view.
;Sets Details view as the default search results view for Generic folders.

[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\BagMRU]

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

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\AllFolders\Shell\{7fde1a1e-8b31-49a5-93b8-6be14cfa4943}]

Set Details view for Music, Pictures, Documents and Videos search folders

If you wish to configure “Details” view for Music, Pictures, Documents and Videos folder as well, use the registry fix fix_all_search_results_view_w10.reg (zipped), and run it.

Contents of the Registry File #2

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

;Fixes search results defaults to Content view.
;Sets Details view as default search results view for Generic folders.

[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\BagMRU]

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

;Generic Search Results
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\AllFolders\Shell\{7fde1a1e-8b31-49a5-93b8-6be14cfa4943}]

;Pictures Search Results
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\AllFolders\Shell\{4dcafe13-e6a7-4c28-be02-ca8c2126280d}]

;Music Search Results
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\AllFolders\Shell\{71689ac1-cc88-45d0-8a22-2943c3e7dfb3}]

;Documents Search Results
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\AllFolders\Shell\{36011842-dccc-40fe-aa3d-6177ea401788}]

;Videos Search Results
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\AllFolders\Shell\{ea25fbd7-3bf7-409e-b97f-3352240903f4}]

Hope that helps you get rid of annoying Content view in Search results. For more information on LogicalViewMode and Mode registry values, check out article [Fix] Desktop Icons Changed to Tiles View Mode Suddenly. Let’s know your comments.

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com 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.

22 thoughts on “[Fix] Search Results defaults to Content View in Windows 10”

  1. This helps more people than you realise. There is a thread about it on tenforums.
    Thank you for finding and posting the solution!

  2. Hi

    This didn’t work for me. It did appear to change the settings in the registry, but search results are still displaying in “Content” view.

    All my “View>Options” settings were deleted. I also tried the “if it doesn’t work” method.

    The relevant registry settings are now showing:
    LogicalViewMode’s Value data: is now set to 1 (Hexadecimal)
    Mode’s Value data is now set to 4 (Hexadecimal)
    …is that right?

    Any ideas ?


    Windows 10 v1607, Intel Core i74500U

  3. btw, I notice that in the unmodified OS, the LogicalViewMode and Mode ‘files’ are in:

    but that the mod seems to operate on the parent folder:

    is that relevant?


  4. Ramesh, thanks a lot for the fix. Just wanted to ask you whether you’ve managed to figure out the rest of this feature that 1607 broke?

    Quoting myself from that MS Answers thread: “Unlike 1511 though, in 1607 any changes I make to the search results view (i.e. selecting which columns to display, width of the columns etc.) is still per-folder only.”

    Still hoping you can fix that last irritating bit too!

  5. Does this fix for viewing search-results in ‘details’ also work for folders optimized for ‘music’ ?
    I have a namely a drive with about 30-40.000 folders and sub- and sub-subfolders which is optimized for music and I prefer search-results for thóse folders
    I presume that that requires a different reg. fix?
    Please help me; please

  6. Hi Ramesh,

    It would be an even better option if the search-results of all folders (so optimized for generic items, documents, pictures, music) by default all would be displayed in the ‘details’-layout instead of ‘contents’, while and with preserving the option to customize it by folder.
    I’m desperately waiting for such a fix.  , but of course take your time.
    What do you think about that?

  7. Ramesh, I am feeling more love for you right now than may be otherwise appropriate. If the fix had also automatically sized columns to fit I might have just collapsed into a puddle of jelly, but as it stands I’ll just Alt-+ and carry on. You rock.

  8. Hi
    Any suggestions how to fix the default search to always display Extra Large Icons AND to sort by Name/Ascending?

    They would be v. much appreciated as just upgraded to 1607 and am tearing hair out…

  9. Hi, thanks so much. Question: if i want to see all the search results in details view BUT regrouped per original folder, can we do that changing something in the .reg file above? if so please do that

  10. Thanks! This has been one of my biggest peeves.

    BTW the changes took effect immediately. No need to logout or restart the explorer shell. Didn’t even have to close any explorer windows.

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