Windows 10: Applying custom Folder View settings to subfolders

  1.    06 May 2016 #1

    Applying custom Folder View settings to subfolders

    I've been reading up on applying Folder View settings to either All Folders or all folders of the same type, but neither of those is quite what I'm looking for.

    Specifically, I'd like to write my own utility that reads the folder view settings for any given folder (I assume from the registry), and give that view a name. Then I'd like my program to be able to apply any of my newly named views to any other folder. I particularly want to add an "Apply to Subfolders" feature to this utility.

    I'm not looking to distribute this; just for my own personal OCD satisfaction, so I don't mind if it ends up being a kludgy solution.

    To that end, I have only two questions, really:

    Let's say I have a folder under my documents named "Test" with a bunch of random files of all types in it: Some pictures, some video, some audio, and a bunch of text files. Let's further say I customize the folder view settings for this one folder to be like old-school DOS: Details view showing FileName, Size, Type, Date Modified. Plus I set up the column widths to be "just so."

    Windows remembers my settings for this one folder. If I can find them, and read/write them, I can realize my dream of managing my own folder views.

    So question #1 is: Where are one-off custom folder view settings stored?

    I believe Windows inexplicably holds two different view settings for any given folder under a special folder. For example, If I open "Documents" from the start menu and open the "Test" folder as described, I get the "special folders" version of the folder view settings. However, if I instead open "This PC", then navigate to \Users\Ellis\Documents\Test, I get an unrelated custom folder view for it. Both versions appear to be stored and remembered, meaning I need to set both if I want this utility to have the full effect.

    Question #2 is then: Where are the separate custom settings for special folder vs literal path stored?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    08 May 2016 #2

    Initial research:

    Folder View Settings - Back Up and Restore in Windows offers a BAT file for backing up and restoring your folder settings. The backup portion of this BAT file saves the following registry entries:
    HKCU\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\BagMRU
    HKCU\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags
    From looking at my own registry, the list of individual custom folder views appears to be in:
    HKCU\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags

    BagMRU is a nice unique search term, which uncovers Explaining the Bags/BagMRU registry tree (trying), which in turn links to the following utility:

    ShellBagsView v1.16

    That doesn't appear to have been updated for Windows 10, but 10 seems to use the same setup as Windows 7. Running it on my machine, I do indeed get a list of all my individual folder settings.

    Clearly this is possible. I just need to sit down and fiddle with it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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