I personally like my folders to display contents the same across all folders on the PC. Windows Vista by default displays folder contents with large icons but to me it seems much easier to navigate if you use the folder view where it displays small icons with details about each item. Below are instructions on how to modify the folder view options and then apply that view to all the folders on your computer.

The default folder view will look something similar to the below.

Vista: Default Folder View

Follow these steps to modify the default folder view to display folder/item details and the menu system in each window.

  1. Open a Folder: First open a folder on your computer by clicking on the My Computer link followed by the default drive which in my case is the C: drive.
  2. Modify Item View: Click the Views drop down and select Details so your folder now displays similar to the below image.

    Windows Vista: Details Folder View

  3. Open File Menu: Now click the Alt button on your keyboard to display the File Menu as shown below.

    Vista: Folder File Menu

  4. Open Folder Options: Now click on Tools in the File Menu and select Folder Options from the drop down. Select the View tab to display a window similar to the below.

    Windows Vista: Folder Options

  5. Always Show Menus:Now select the checkbox next to “Always show menus” as shown below.

    Vista: Always Show Menus

  6. Apply To Folders: Click the Apply to Folders button to save these options for all folders.
  7. Verify Settings: Now close out all the folder windows and open a new folder to make sure the options have been saved as the default.

Now when you open a folder on your computer the details of each item in the folder will be displayed.

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2 Responses to “Windows Vista: Apply Folder View Options To All Folders On The Computer”
  1. Derek Morrison says:

    Nice tip, but I think Vista notoriously doesn’t obey this setting for whatever reason in various circumstances. I’ve read about this somewhere, and also experienced it myself. Very frustrating.


    alex Reply:

    Hey Derek,

    Long time no see!

    Yeah after writing this I have noticed the same thing. It will obey it for that session with the folders though but then either after reboot or some length of time it likes to just go back to whatever structure it wants to.

    I am going to look into this… Vista is pretty much out the door anyway but I am curious why it won’t save these settings.

    Hope all is well… look forward to future posts.



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