Windows – does Windows XP Explorer Search sometimes switch to Icons view

windows xpwindows-explorerwindows-search

I keep my Explorer View setting on Details. — When setting my system up, I open an Explorer window, set View to Details, and then in Tools->Folder Options on the View tab I click [Apply to All Folders]. This generally ensures that I see the Details view everywhere I go, including in Search.

Yet sometimes when I run a Search it spontaneously switches back to Icons view. I've seen this problem for years across many different computers running Windows XP. Weeks can go by with no problem, and then blam, Icons again. And when it happens it keeps happening, even though I go back and redo the above configs. How can I prevent this rogue behavior?

(I typically start searches by right-clicking an Explorer folder and picking Search.)

Best Answer

How frequently do you Search? (I ask since you mention that as the source of the problem) Windows Explorer retains a fixed number of customizations.

TweakUI is one way to view/modify this value:

TweakUI Folder Customizations setting

From the Microsoft Knowledgebase is this information for manually editing that value:

By default, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 remember each folder's view settings and customizations. This data is limited to 400 folders and is stored in the following registry keys:

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ShellNoRoam

Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 instead use the following registry key to store this information:

  • HKCU\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell

To increase the number of folders that Windows can remember the view settings for, create a DWORD value named BagMRU Size in each of these registry keys, and set its value data to the number of folders that you want Windows to remember the settings for. For example, if you set the value to 5000, Windows can remember the settings for 5000 folders.

And lastly, this article discusses what to do when your "view settings or customizations for a folder are lost or incorrect."

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