something periodically changes folder settings

In Windows 7 on the View tab of the Folder Options window -
something periodically changes some of the settings.

It changes "show hidden files" to "don't show hidden files"
It checks "hide extensions for known file types" which I have set to unchecked
It checks "hide protected operating system files" which I have set to unchecked

This happens every couple months or so.
I have McAfee Security Center installed v 12.8 - BUT it is also installed on our other 2 machines who don't manifest this oddity.

Any ideas on where to start looking for a culprit?
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Santosh GuptaCommented:

please Run and check for Malware or trojan.

run malware bytes.
dgrafxAuthor Commented:
i already have
i should have mentioned that but forgot
Santosh GuptaCommented:
1. is this machine in domain ? if yes run RSOP.MSC and see if any policy configured.
2. what is the frequency of change.
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dgrafxAuthor Commented:
no - not in a domain

and like I said above "every couple months or so" ...
Santosh GuptaCommented:
May be your operating system is still infected.
Run a virus scan with Microsoft Safety scanner and check.
dgrafxAuthor Commented:
ok I ran it - nothing ...
The same happens on my system, I just checked my  folder options>view>settings and I have always had show hidden files and now it's ticked again not to show.
I put it down to windows updates, and messes with our windows settings whenever there is security updates and the windows system automatically resets the system integral settings to default.
 They have hidden scripts to install these security updates and I'm pretty certain in order to install correctly  they open up windows regestry this is  necessary then the reboot woudl close them again.
Hidden files and folders is part of the security.
Apon a reboot after each Tuesday's updates check prior and after.
dgrafxAuthor Commented:
I have always felt that this is Windows - not a security concern like a virus or something.

I have all my systems set to Not reboot after updates - whenever it does need rebooting then I'm notified and I do it myself.
But I can pay attention to this next time I'm asked to reboot.

Note that the other day I was experimenting with right-clicking a file and changing the program that the file type opens with by default and these settings (the 3 I'm referring to in this post) reset to the undesirable state.
And so 3 times I changed them back again.
I have never had this happen before though - just thought I'd mention it.
If it could help someone do detective work the file types I was messing with were .mp4, .avi, .mkv

Thanks for the input ...
Associating a default player to a video shouldnt be related to show hidden files and folders unless these are restricted somehow in the GPO.
That is the use of a media player
I dont have a default program for my video collection  mostly mp4 simply because I have a few meda players and prefer to use the drag and drop onto my chosen media player,
usually MPCBE or VLC
Not knowing your setup there, if it is part of a domain or work network do you have administrative controls through GPO?
Mapped drive? Shared drive?
I'd start looking into them if applicable.
Maybe somewhere there is a group policy set to prevent changes to windows?
Unhiding system files maybe classified as a security breach?
There is the gpedit.msc type that into run
lots of areas you can look at
 Start at the top and expand each
Under User configuration>administration Templates
Anything you click on the left appears on the right, clicking on the right brings up an explorer view explaing what you can do
Could be related to shares or different folder views applied, not all the same settings
Are you the default administrator not with an account and there is a hidden administrator?
Laptop / desktop?
Remember when you shutdown you should see logging off saving settings
I'm not personally worried about but will also check if it changes after the next windows updates especially a reboot.
Will put a note on my desktop to remember to check.
I might also check if it changes after a simple reboot.
Tested and no it doesnt change the show hidden files and folders system files anything I set is still there after a reboot.
Taking note of the message I see when changing these could be effected by a group policy restriction.
hide protected system filesCheers
dgrafxAuthor Commented:
Thanks for replying

These computers (laptops & pc) are not in a domain.
There is only one account on each which is the built in admin account.

And yes I wouldn't imagine that changing the default program has anything to do with this BUT I mentioned it because of the same settings changes I'm complaining about - hopefully you see what I mean ...

Let me know if you stumble onto specific settings in group policy or elsewhere that may affect this.
As it's only every couple of months that you are aware of possibly something on the server is not being updated through to the clients.
Do you enable this through explorer or actually open the folder options from control panel?
I have tested it and found no changes with just a simple reboot.
Two areas that may help,
Check the folders options>view and you donot have this ticked
restore previous folder windows at logon.
restore previous folderUsing GPO to force disabling "Hide Extensions for Known File Types" in Explorer
dgrafxAuthor Commented:
don't know what you mean by "something on the server is not being updated through to the clients" ...
note that this is win7 pro and is not a member of a domain.

anyway I have enabled/disabled the settings from both explorer and opening folder options in control panel.

in reference to your link to the article on - my version of windows (win7 pro) does not have the settings it refers to.
i've opened gpedit and looked around but found nothing ...

dhsindyRetired considering supplemental income.Commented:
Do you use Internet Explorer 8 or have it on you computer.  Internet Explorer under Tools/Internet Options/Advances also shows these settings and I am not sure they are the same ones under View.

Check that they are the same in both places.
dgrafxAuthor Commented:
ie 8 does not exist on any of our computers.
a win 7 laptop & desktop and a win 8 laptop.

Gary PattersonVP Technology / Senior Consultant Commented:
dgrafxAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the response!
I apologize for not getting back to this issue sooner.

The article posted isn't my situation.
This link:
describes a situation where the settings won't take at all.

Read below.

1. Win7 Pro
2. I'm using the built in Admin account - this is the only account currently on the machine.
3. I used to use an account that I created and the problem existed in that account as well.

When viewing folders & files in Windows Explorer I'll notice that the file extension is not showing. So I open the View tab of Folder Options and see that the following 3 settings have changed.
a. Show hidden files has been changed to Don't show
b. Hide extensions for known file types has been checked
c. Hide protected operating system files has been checked
So when I change them back there is no problem getting them to stick.
I may then go months before something changes them back to the settings listed above.
Sometimes however they may change frequently - every few days for ex - but that is rare.

Just to clarify a couple speculations:
This doesn't happen after a Windows update
This doesn't happen after a restart

Any other ideas?
RobOwner (Aidellio)Commented:
Have you tried the "Reset Folders" button in Folder Options?

Then set up with those options above if they're not already ticked and click the Apply, then "Apply to All Folders"

What I'm suspecting is one of your folders has customised settings and is resetting the global settings when you access it.

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dgrafxAuthor Commented:
Yes I have folders with a few customized settings - that are different from each other ...

the only real difference is that I have a Library folder that is sorted by date modified and the rest are sorted by name
some Libraries are grouped by type and others are grouped by none
some are displaying thumbnails and others are showing a list

could you explain further what settings Reset Folders will reset

and could you explain if in your plan all folders need to have the same settings

note that I do not want all folders to show a list and sorted by name etc - it's important to me that these settings are custom for each folder.
But as far as these 3 settings I speak of (that this post is about) I want them all the same throughout the computer.

RobOwner (Aidellio)Commented:
Reset folders will reset all your folders to the default view. So unfortunately for you, you will need to setup those specific folders again.
The properties are global but something is testing them and i suspect it's one of your customised folders.
If it were me, I would reset the folders and then setup a folder how I want the majority if them to look and go back to folder options and click apply to all folders.
Now I would set up those individual folders as required.
dgrafxAuthor Commented:
right - that's what i do.

my main query is this though:
you are saying that there may be an issue with global settings
and by resetting and re-customizing the folders again then chances are (worth a shot anyway) it should be smooth sailing after that.

just wanted to make sure that it wasn't expected that I permanently have the same settings for all folders

let me know and thanks
RobOwner (Aidellio)Commented:
No it's not expected that you would have to have the same settings for all folders but we need to bring everything back to defaults. Not promising anything but with the intermittent nature if this issue it would make sense
dgrafxAuthor Commented:
Will try it ...
RobOwner (Aidellio)Commented:
Hard to confirm a solution with this so I'll keep monitoring the question to see how you go
dgrafxAuthor Commented:
Thanks - that's what I was thinking ...
dgrafxAuthor Commented:
Rob - for now the settings have not changed.
If I ever need to open another ticket I will make a note of it in this ticket as well.

RobOwner (Aidellio)Commented:
Sounds quite promising. Thanks for the points.  I'll keep monitoring the question but hopefully I don't hear from you :-)
dgrafxAuthor Commented:
thanks ...
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