How to Enable or Disable Thumbnail Previews Quickly Using Right-Click Menu in Windows

Summary: Enable or Disable (Toggle) Thumbnail view in folder quickly using the right-click menu, in all versions of Windows, including Windows 10.

To enable or disable thumbnail previews in Windows Vista and higher, you usually open Folder Options, click View tab and then select or deselect the Always show icons, never thumbnails. If you have disabled thumbnail previews in Windows Explorer for performance, but want to have a means of enabling or disabling thumbnail previews without going into Folder Options every time, here is a Script solution for you that adds the Enable/Disable Thumbnails in the right-click menu for quick access.

(Of course, one can change the folder view options to Tiles or Details, and apply the setting to other folders. This article is for users who prefer the "icons" view, but want to enable or disable thumbnails quickly without getting into Folder Options.)

Here is a REG file and a VBScript that adds a Enable/Disable Thumbnails option to the right-click menu. This script works in Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10.

1. Download togglethumbs.zip and save it to the Desktop.

2. Unzip the archive and extract the contents to a folder.

3. Move the file togglethumbs.vbs to the C:\Windows directory.

4. Double-click togglethumbs.reg to merge the contents to the registry.

The Enable/Disable Thumbnails option is now added to the context menu, which will be seen when you right-click on the Desktop and when right-clicking on an empty area in a folder.

And here is a small screencast:

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.

12 thoughts on “How to Enable or Disable Thumbnail Previews Quickly Using Right-Click Menu in Windows

  1. Fantastic! A great annoyance that had been a lingering pain like a splinter in my toes has been lifted :-)

    THANK YOU SIR!!!

  2. …wonderful!

    Using Classic Shell you can put an icon on menu bar to toggle it 1 click directly. ->Settings for Classic Explorer (3.6.5 or later) > Toolbar buttons> Avail. commands:> Custom commands. Just target the button to the togglethumbs.vbs on Windows directory. You can choose any icon, i.e. System32\imageres.dll, 71 or other ”pictures images”.

    If you want to install Classic Shell and disable start menu modifications:
    “On Vista and Windows 7 the classic start menu is started using the
    HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run registry key,
    which is shared by all users.” Remove the Classic Start Menu value:
    C:\Program Files\Classic Shell\ClassicStartMenu.exe

  3. Thank you so much for this. Days of searching came to an end when someone on a forum pointed me to this.

  4. This is a nice trick but can you please make it appear in the context menus of libraries (when browing pictures or videos libraries)?

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