How to Fix Thumbnails Not Showing In Windows 10

Many Windows 10 users prefer thumbnails as they’re useful especially in previewing files. However, there is a common issue of thumbnails not showing in File Explorer in Windows 10.

For starters, when you open a directory that contains files i.e. images and videos, you normally see their thumbnails. These thumbnails enable you to find the files you’re looking for easily. In this article, you will learn how to fix thumbnails not showing on Windows 10.

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Thumbnails are common in image formats such as PNG, JPG, GIF, and JPEG. It’s also popular in video formats such as MP4, WMV, MPG, MKV, FLV, and MOV. If thumbnails are not displaying in Windows 10, follow the steps below to fix it.

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1. Using File Explorer

The easiest and simplest way to remedy the problem is to use the file explorer. This checks if you have the right viewing mode in the folder containing your media files. So follow the steps below:

Step 1: Navigate to your target folder. If thumbnails are disabled, or not showing, the files will appear as icons of the default programs set to open them as shown.

Step 2: So enable thumbnails, click on the ‘View‘ tab.

Step 3: Next look on the far right and click on the options tab.

Step 4: On the ‘Folder Options‘ pop-up window, click on the ‘View‘ tab.

Finally, uncheck the “Always show icons, never thumbnails” option, and click on ‘Apply‘ and ‘OK‘ to apply the changes.

 fix thumbnails not showing

Now head back to your folder and the thumbnails will be displayed!

2. Using Disk Cleanup

Disk cleanup is a built-in utility tool used to free up space on the hard drive. By so doing, it removes unnecessary files or files that are not needed such as temporary files and resolving the ‘low disk space‘ notification. Disk cleanup also helps in resetting the Thumbnails cache, so if the first solution did not work, try using the disk cleanup space.

Step 1: To launch disk cleanup, Head to the Cortana search bar and type ‘Disk cleanup‘.

Step 2: On the pull-up menu, click on the App.

Step 3: Select ‘Drive C: and click ‘OK‘.

Step 4: On the next Window, ensure to check the ‘Thumbnails’ options as one of the items to be cleaned up and click ‘OK’.

 fix thumbnails not showing

On the pop-up window, click on ‘Delete files‘.

3. Using Command Prompt

For more geeky users, the command prompt also comes in handy when resolving the issue with thumbnails not getting displayed. So follow the steps below:

Step 1: Run command prompt as Administrator. To achieve this, type ‘CMD‘ on the Cortana search bar and on the pull-up menu, right-click on ‘Command Prompt‘ and select ‘Run as Administrator

Step 2: Type the command below to close file explorer running processes

taskkill /f /im explorer.exe

Step 3: To clear the thumbnail database files, run the command:

del /f /s /q /a %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer\thumbcache_*.db

The command above resets the thumbnail cache and also stops file explorer.

Step 4: To restart file explorer, simply run

start explorer.exe

You should now be able to comfortably preview your files using the thumbnails. And this concludes this article on how to fix thumbnails not showing on Windows 10.

3 thoughts on “How to Fix Thumbnails Not Showing In Windows 10”

  1. didn’t work for me, why do all sites copy and paste the same methods? Something is wrong with windows 10 is like working blindly. Frustrating. I hate Windows, I miss my mac LOL


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