How to Fix Image Thumbnails Not Displayed in Windows?

Are your image files showing up with a generic mountain and lake scene (for every picture) as shown below, instead of the miniature / thumbnail display? Here is how to enable Windows to generate and display thumbnail icon for your image files.

Related article: Fix “No Preview Available” and No Thumbnails for Media Files

To enable thumbnail view for your images, first open the folder in question. In the Views drop-down in the Task pane, select one of the following views:

  • Medium Icons
  • Large Icons
  • Extra Large Icons

If thumbnail previews are not generated, then open Folder Options applet via Control Panel or from Start Search box (by running the command control folders). In the View tab of Folder Options, uncheck the following option:





Always show icons, never thumbnails

Click OK.

Clear the Thumbnail Cache

If that does not work, try clearing the thumbnail cache using the Disk Cleanup (cleanmgr.exe) tool.

For more information, check out post How to Clear the Thumbnail Cache in Windows?

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.

29 thoughts on “How to Fix Image Thumbnails Not Displayed in Windows?

  1. you’re a damn genius, all other websites give the basic “did you check off always show icons?” Finally, something useful!!

  2. The control folders directions worked for me. Thank you! I haven’t been able to see previews for over a year now and had no idea how that even happened.

  3. Thank you. I have been looking for two weeks for this answer (not very hard but still two weeks w/o being able to preview a jpg file w/o opening it 1st)

    God Bless you

  4. thank you so much, it’s been along time I am looking for this to fix…thanks…
    Is it anybody know where can I free download nvidia nforce system management driver? thanks

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