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

thumbnails not showing in windows 10 file explorer

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

Thumbnails will appear for almost all common video file types, such as MP4, AVI, MKV, WMV, FLV, MPG and MOV and image file types, such as 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 you turned on the right "View" mode for the folder that contains your photos and/or videos.

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

1. Open File Explorer.

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

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 "Always show icons, Never thumbnails" 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 "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 box 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 the Windows Task Manager.

Two ways to open the Windows Task Manager:

2. In the "Processes" tab, you scroll down to "Windows Explorer".

3. Click on "Windows Explorer" to highlight it.

4. Click on the "Restart" button located at the bottom right.

restart windows explorer

If this solution doesn't work the first time, then try 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 box 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 box 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 the Windows command prompt as administrator.

Three Ways to open Windows command prompt as admin:

2. Type the following command and press Enter:

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

The sfc /scannow command 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 go to: 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 a 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