As you probably know there are several different Folder Views in Windows Explorer:

ExplorerView

The Explorer keeps tracks of the last used View per Folder in the registry in the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags. This KB article sort of desribes this functionality.

But did you know that you can force a specific view for all folders?

It’s very easy, just set the following key and values:

; Force default explorer view to Details (mode = 4)
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ShellNoRoam\Bags\All Folders\Shell]
“Mode”=dword:00000004
“WFlags”=dword:00000000
“Status”=dword:00000001
“Address”=dword:ffffffff
“Vid”=”{137E7700-3573-11CF-AE69-08002B2E1262}”

Use the following values for Mode and Vid:

View Mode Vid
Icons 1 {0057D0E0-3573-11CF-AE69-08002B2E1262}
List 3 {0E1FA5E0-3573-11CF-AE69-08002B2E1262}
Details 4 {137E7700-3573-11CF-AE69-08002B2E1262}
Thumbnail 5 {8BEBB290-52D0-11D0-B7F4-00C04FD706EC}
Tiles 6 {65F125E5-7BE1-4810-BA9D-D271C8432CE3}
Filmstrip 7 {8EEFA624-D1E9-445B-94B7-74FBCE2EA11A}

Or you can also set it into HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE to make it effective for every user on the system.