A bolder folder


Q: I want all of my Windows Vista folders to display the Details view, with my own custom column headings and column widths. Unfortunately, Vista does not seem to consistently remember these settings after I customize the top-level folder’s view using these steps:

1. I select Details from the Views dropdown menu.

2. I right-click on the folder’s column headings and place check marks next to the column headings I want to display.

3. I click and drag the folder’s column headings to rearrange their order.

4. I click and drag the right edge of each column heading to adjust the width.

5. I navigate up one level, then right-click on the folder and select Properties, Customize, and place a check in the box labeled Also apply this template to all subfolders, and click OK.

Unfortunately, this action does not apply my settings to subfolders as expected, and many of the subfolders keep reverting to their previous view settings. Is there a trick to making these settings stick?

A: The procedure you describe is perfect, except that Windows Vista includes a default View setting that prevents this procedure from working properly. To correct the problem, disable the offending setting by opening an Explorer window, and from the Tools menu, select the Folder Options, View tab, uncheck the box labeled Remember each folder’s view settings, and click OK. Next, repeat the procedure you described above, and the Detailed View settings you make will apply properly to all subfolders. Presented below is the default folder view I prefer for folders containing Word, Excel and PowerPoint data files.

Notes: Windows XP has the same default setting as Vista, and the solution is similar to the remedy described above. In Windows 7, Microsoft removed the default view setting mentioned above; hence, this is no longer an issue in that operating system.

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