Make Vista Great Part 1: Fix Windows Explorer
In the beginning of 2007 we witnessed the release of Windows Vista to a thundering snore, followed shortly thereafter by growing frustration at the softwares poor performance, lousy hardware support, and remarkable ability to crash with no input from the user at all. So Microsoft snapped into action, and more than a year later we got Service Pack 1, which fixed, well, a bit.
Surprisingly, most of Vistas annoyances are fixable. If youre willing to roll up your sleeves and do some tweaking, you can turn Vista into a pretty great OS. First up: Windows Explorer.
Cure Vista Explorers Amnesia
Windows Explorer has a nifty thumbnail display that shows iconic previews of your pictures, videos, PDFs, and even MP3 album folders. But accompanying this eye candy is Explorers baffling inability to determine the type of files in a given folder, which leads to the wrong view almost every time. This is why you may see spreadsheet files as thumbnails and JPEG images in the Details view, and why changing the view doesnt ever seem to stick.
The root of the problem is templates, Vistas cumbersome method of saving different view settings for different types of files. You can right-click a folder, select Properties, and then click the Customize tab to choose the template to use for that folder (Pictures, Documents, and so on), but that alone wont stop Explorer from ignoring your preference and picking whichever template it wants.
To fix the problem, go to http://www.annoyances.org/exec/show/choosetemplate and download ResetExplorer.exe and ChooseTemplate.reg. Double-click ResetExplorer.exe and answer Yes to clear Explorers cached data. Then double-click ChooseTemplate.reg and answer Yes to apply the patch. From Windows Explorers Organize drop-down, select Folder and Search Options, and then click the View tab. From the Default Folder Template branch in Advanced settings, choose how youd like all folders to be viewed by default and click OK.
Thereafter, Windows Explorer will stop guessing at a folders contents and will use your preference each time. To forcibly switch the template for a folder or branch, use the Customize tab as described above. To save new view or sorting preferences for the currently selected template, go ahead and make those changes, and then return to the View tab (also described above) and click the Apply to Folders button.
After applying the Default Folder Template Patch, these new options will appear in your Folder Options window, enabling you to override Windows Explorers propensity to automatically pick the wrong view settings for your folders.
Entry filed under: Windows XP. Tags: .