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Free arrange of files in Windows 7

Windows 7 optimized the folder presentation for certain folder types: "Pictures" and "Videos" are shown in the default view "Large Icons" - "Documents", "Music" and all other folders ("General Items") are shown in "Details" view. For the different views Windows 7 uses templates. What type of template Windows 7 use for the folder can be seen in the context menu of a folder on the tab "Customize".

To activate the free sorting for each of the 5 file types ("General Items", "Pictures", "Documents", "Music" and "Videos") in the registry must be set up a new template for each of the 5 file types that allows the free sorting. Therefore open registry editor ("regedit") and go to this section:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\AllFolders\Shell\

There create this new key:
Add these two entries as values for this key:
"FFLAGS"=dword:43000001 (hex)
"Mode"=dword:00000004 (hex)

With this key {5C4F28B5-F869-4E84-8E60-F11DB97C5CC7} a template for new folders of type "General Items" was created. For the other four folder types create a template in the same way:

Documents: {7D49D726-3C21-4F05-99AA-FDC2C9474656}
Music: {94D6DDCC-4A68-4175-A374-BD584A510B78}
Pictures: {B3690E58-E961-423B-B687-386EBFD83239}
Videos: {5FA96407-7E77-483C-AC93-691D05850DE8}


Files in newly created folders can now be sorted.

For already existing folder Windows 7 has saved the folder settings (without free sorting) in the registry branch HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\. Here can be seen a long list of numbers, each corresponding to a saved folder setting. They should have deleted all individually - but this is quite monotonous. More easily is the following method: First export the entries under "AllFolders" into a separate file:

Then delete the complete menu branch "Bags":

This erases all saved folder settings at one stroke - but also the menu branch "AllFolders". To import the menu branch "AllFolders" again it needs only a double click to the previously exported file "AllFolders.reg".

This commented batch file (Free-sorting-for-Windows7.zip) performs all the steps described in one step:

  1. Step: Add the 5 Keys for "General folder", "Documents folder", "Music folder", "Pictures folder" and "Videos folder"
  2. Step: Export everything under the key "AllFolders" into a separate file "AllFolders.reg"
  3. Step: Delete everything under the key "Bags"
  4. Step: Import again exported file "AllFolders.reg"
  5. Step: Delete exported file "AllFolders.reg"

Note: Often Windows 7 not immediately remembers the new possibility of free sorting. If you add a file in such a folder or delete a file the whole file list is immediately sorted alphabetically. This should briefly tested by clicking with the right mouse button in the folder and with "New" -> "Text Document" simply create a new text file. If it immediately sorted strictly alphabetically, then it helps to close the Windows Explorer completely and then open the folder in Windows Explorer again.

The free sorting is only possible in the views of "Tiles", "Details," "Small Icons", "Medium Icons", "Large Icons" and "Extra Large Icons" - not in the view "Content" and "List":

However, you can switch to any view - even into the view "Content" and "List" - without losing your own free sorting.

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