Those pesky DEFAULTS will be the death of me yet!

Whenever I click on a picture to download onto my Windows 7 machine
while in MS Internet Explorer 8, the picture is automatically saved in
a Windows 7 DEFAULT folder, usually in USERS something or other.
I want to be able to change this DEFAULT to a folder of my choice so
that these picture downloads are always AUTOMATICALLY placed into MY
choice of default folder as long as I don't change it to something
else. How?

ALSO, ON A DIFFERENT SUBJECT: Whenever I open any Windows 7 window on
any disk drive, the character length of each column is predetermined
automatically by the Windows 7 system, unless I change it with the
Choose Details pull down. This is not a good option because I would
have to do it for each window I open, driving me nuts. I want to be
able to change this automatic character length default for ALL columns
in ALL windows PERMANENTLY. How?

As for default download folder in IE, you can change it:

regedit -> HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer -> Download directory -> Edit it.

You can also use Orbit Downloader (freeware).

Screenshots and features

The second part is easy... Set your windows and colums as you like them, then
ALT + T -> Folder Options -> View -> Apply to folders.

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