Thumbnails Not Showing In Windows 10 File Explorer (Image and Video)

Thumbnails for images and videos not showing in Windows 10 File Explorer?

Here you will find a few easy, quick, and safe solutions.

But first:

When you open a folder with photos or video files in Microsoft Windows 10 File Explorer, you will normally see thumbnails (reduced-size versions of photos or videos).

Thumbnails will appear for almost all common video formats (e.g., MP4, AVI, MKV, WMV, FLV, MPG, and MOV) and image formats (e.g., JPG (JPEG), PNG, GIF, and PNG).

But:

If you only see default icons (e.g., VLC icons) and no thumbnail previews, then you can try the solutions on this page to fix the problem.

And now:

Thumbnail Previews Not Showing In Windows 10 File Explorer (10 Solutions)

The following solutions are from other websites, forums, and user comments.

1. Check if the right “View” mode is enabled

First, you will have to make sure that the right “View” mode is turned on for the folder that contains your photos or videos or both.

The following “View” modes show thumbnail previews for images and videos:

1. Open File Explorer.

2. Open the folder that contains your pictures or video files or both.

3. Click on View located in the top left menu.

windows 10 file explorer folder view settings

4. Click on one of the following View options:

windows 10 file explorer folder view options

2. Uncheck the “Always show icons, Never thumbnails” option in File Explorer Options

1. Open File Explorer.

2. Click on File located at the top left.

3. Click on Change folder and search options.

open change folder and search options in file explorer

4. Click on the View tab.

5. Uncheck the Always show icons, Never thumbnails.

windows 10 file explorer options

6. Click on Apply.

7. Click on OK.

3. Restore File Explorer Options to default

1. Open File Explorer.

2. Click on File located at the top left.

3. Click on Change folder and search options.

open change folder and search options in file explorer

4. Click on the Restore Defaults button.

5. Click on the View tab.

6. Click on the Restore Defaults button.

7. Click on Apply.

8. Click on OK.

4. Clear thumbnail cache

1. Open the Windows Disk Cleanup tool.

windows disk cleanup tool

Three ways to open the Disk Cleanup tool in Windows 10:

2. Select your system drive (the drive where Windows 10 is installed).

3. Click on OK.

Windows will now calculate how much space you will be able to free on your system drive.

4. Make sure that the checkbox next to Thumbnails is checked (ticked).

delete thumbnails using windows disk cleanup

5. Click on OK.

6. Click on Delete Files.

Windows will automatically generate new thumbnails when required.

5. Make sure there's enough space on your system drive

The following solution is from a comment on another website.

When your system drive (the drive where Windows 10 is installed) becomes full, Windows will stop generating thumbnails.

Check the disk space of your system drive (usually the (C:) drive) and when it's almost full, then delete or move things from your system drive.

When it reaches a minimum of 1 GB remaining disk space, the thumbnails probably show up again.

6. Restart Windows Explorer in Task Manager

The following solution is from a comment on another website.

1. Open Windows Task Manager.

Three ways to open Task Manager:

2. Click on More details located at the bottom left of the Windows Task Manager window.

3. In the Processes tab, you right-click on Windows Explorer and choose Restart.

Restart the Windows Explorer process

4. Close the Task Manager.

If this solution doesn't work the first time, then try it at least three times.

7. Make sure that “Show thumbnails instead of icons” is checked in the Performance Options

1. Open Advanced system settings.

Three ways to open Advanced system settings:

2. At Performance, you click on the Settings button.

3. Make sure that the checkbox next to Show thumbnails instead of icons is checked.

Show thumbnails instead of icons

If it's not checked, then check it, click on Apply and then click on OK.

8. Check “Save taskbar thumbnail previews” in the Performance Options

The following solution is from a comment on another website.

1. Open Advanced system settings.

Three ways to open Advanced system settings:

2. At Performance, you click on the Settings button.

3. Check the checkbox next to Save taskbar thumbnail previews.

Save taskbar thumbnail previews

4. Click on Apply.

5. Click on OK.

9. Use System File Checker (SFC)

System File Checker (SFC) is a utility in Windows that allows users to scan for corruptions in Windows system files and restore corrupted files.

1. Open Windows Command Prompt as administrator.

Three Ways to open Windows Command Prompt as administrator:

2. When the User Account Control (UAC) window appears, you click Yes.

Note: Depending on your settings, you might need to enter your administrator password first and then click Yes.

The Command Prompt window will appear.

3. Type the following command and press Enter:

sfc /scannow
Fix Windows 10 Start Menu with System File Checker tool

The system file checker will scan all protected system files, and replace corrupted files with a cached copy.

This process may take a while.

If the System File Checker tool finds corrupted files but is unable to fix them, then visit the following page: How to Solve “SFC Unable to Fix Corrupt Files” Problem in Windows 10.

10. Use Icaros (Free)

Icaros is a free program that can generate thumbnails for almost all video and image file types.

You can download Icaros here.

1. Open Icaros.

2. Make sure that THUMBNAILING is activated.

icaros thumbnailing

If thumbnailing is deactivated, then click on it to activate.

3. Select an option (e.g., MOST KNOWN) at THUMBNAIL FILETYPES and PRESET.

icaros preset options

4. Close Icaros.


Reference(s):

TheWindowsClub: Thumbnail Previews not showing in Windows File Explorer

IntoWindows: Thumbnail Previews Not Showing In Windows 10 File Explorer

WindowsReport: Fix: Thumbnail previews not showing on Windows 10, 8, 7

Microsoft: Video Thumbnails are not Showing