How to Fix Image Thumbnails Not Displayed in Windows 7 and Vista?

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.

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:


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  • 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.

See How to Clear the Thumbnail Cache in Windows 7 and Windows Vista for more information.

29 thoughts on “How to Fix Image Thumbnails Not Displayed in Windows 7 and Vista?

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

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