Windows Explorer, the default file manager on Windows has different kinds of folder views. This means Explorer can display folders and files in different kinds of views. Every folder view has different theme, advantages and disadvantages.

Windows uses a default view template which it uses across almost all locations. However you can change the default view to your favorable view from eight kinds of icon styles. Once you change the view style options, Windows will remember the settings for that directory. But the problem with folder view options is, if you change these on a particular location, they doesn’t apply on all locations. So you have to change the file and folder icons to your desired view every time you entered into a unchanged directory.

Change current view to all folders

Here are eight kinds of folder view styles of Windows Explorer:

  1. Extra large icons
  2. Large icons
  3. Medium icons
  4. Small icons
  5. List
  6. Details
  7. Tiles
  8. Contents

Fortunately, Windows has option to enable same display style to all folders at once. Also, you can utilize five kinds of folder templates for five kinds of files.

In this article we will learn two things:

  1. How to apply five kinds of templates to all folders having similar files.
  2. How to apply same view to all directories.

If you want to have different icon views for different files, Windows has five different templates to choose from. The five template are followings:

  1. General items
  2. Documents
  3. Pictures
  4. Music
  5. Videos

Windows has different default view for each of these templates.

On Windows 7 and Vista

Using any of Five Templates

Suppose you want to see same view on all folders that contains pictures. For this, you need to choose a folder which contains only images like JPG, PNG, etc. files. Now proceed as following:

  1. Right-click on the folder and click Properties.
  2. Under Customize tab, choose your template from ‘Optimize this folder for’ section.
    Customize folder view template
  3. Hit OK.

Changing View

  1. Click on view options button from top-right corner.
    Hit Change your view button
  2. Set your desired view from eight icon styles.
    Adjust icon view style
  3. You can also change grouping and sorting settings from right-click context menu.
    Change sorting and grouping view
  4. If you are using the view Details, you can choose which columns to show or not by right-clicking on any of column headers.
    Enable or disable columns in details view mode

Applying the View to All Folders of Similer Files

  1. From top-left corner, click Folder and search options under Organize.
    Folder and search options in Windows 7
  2. Click Apply to folders under View tab.
    Apply to all folders
  3. You are done.

On Windows 10, 8.1 and 8

Using any of Five Templates

Same procedure as Windows 7 shown above.

Changing View

  1. Click on View tab from menu bar, and choose your icon style.
    Change folder view Windows 10 and 8
  2. You can also use Sort by and Group by options to change sorting and grouping settings.
  3. When using Details view, right-click on column header to turn off or on different kinds of columns.
    Enable or disable columns in details view mode

Applying the View to All Folders of Similer Files

  1. Click Options under View tab.
  2. In Folder Options, click Apply to Folders under View tab.
    Apply to folders setting in Windows 10 and 8
  3. That’s it.

Note for all Windows versions: To apply same current view to all other folders of all kinds of files at once, enter into a folder that contains all major kinds of files (Windows uses general template by default to the folders that has majority of unknown files or the files that don’t fall into other template category) and change the view and use Apply to folders options.

Checkout official article on changing Options by Microsoft. HowToGeek has much slimier article on this.


Jaber is a Programmer and Tech Enthusiast Geek from Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is the founder and Chief-Editor of TechGainer. While he is away from his keyboard, either he's fishing or messing with wildlife. In case, you can contact him at rijans[at]techgainer[dot]com.