By default, folders appear in Microsoft Windows as folder icons or as pictures that are contained in the folder. (When folders appear as pictures, you are viewing them in "Thumbnails" view.) For example, when Microsoft Windows Server 2003 opens a folder for the first time, the folder contents appear in Classic view. When Microsoft Windows XP opens a folder for the first time, Windows uses a default template to display the folder contents and to view the settings based on the location of the folder, the number of files in the folder, and the proportion of special file types in the folder.
If you change these view settings or customize a folder, Windows remembers your settings when you open the folder again. You can use the folder's View menu to change the view settings for the folder. You can use the Customize tab in the folder's Properties dialog box to modify the folder icon, picture, and template.
Note By default, Windows stores the view settings and the customizations for only 400 folders at the same time.
Some folder options apply to all folders. For example, by default, both Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP hide protected operating system files, files or folders that have the hidden attribute, and file extensions (for known file types). To modify these settings and other advanced folder settings that apply to all folders, administrators can use the Folder Options item in Control Panel.