How to Disable Preview for Certain File Types in Explorer Preview Pane

The preview pane in File Explorer shows you the preview for various file types in Windows 10 and Windows 11. Windows comes with a built-in set of preview handlers. In addition, third-party applications add their own handlers that can generate previews for their proprietary file types.

disable preview for selected file type

Windows allows you to turn on or off previews by enabling or disabling “Show preview handlers in preview pane” in Folder Options.

You may want to disable preview generation for a specific file type to improve performance. But, there is no built-in setting to disable preview generation (in the preview pane) for chosen file types. However, there is a handy tool that can accomplish the task.

This article tells you how to disable preview for certain file types in the Explorer preview pane.

Disable Preview for Certain File Types in Explorer Preview Pane

Let’s say you want to disable preview generation for Microsoft Word documents — e.g., .docx, .doc, or other file types. Follow these steps:



  1. Download Preview Handler Association Editor by Stephen Toub of Microsoft.
  2. Unzip and run the program PreviewHandlerEditor.exe.
    File name: PreviewHandlerEditor.exe
    [SHA1] 217e64b9a4d143ecd36216ab4a86be5235b24fd1
    [SHA256] 5008F954130454CC143272E4C527243B25E782168ED4F4C9AFB656B59055915B
  3. The “Registered Handlers” dropdown box lists all the preview handlers registered on the computer. For example, select “Microsoft Word Previewer.”
    disable preview for selected file type
  4. Remove the checkbox for .doc.docx and/or other file types.
    disable preview for selected file type
  5. Close Preview Handler Association Editor.

No restart is required in most cases. Close all instances of File Explorer and reopen a folder containing Word documents.

disable preview for selected file type

Selecting the Word document (.doc or .docx) would show the “No preview available” message in the Preview pane.


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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded Winhelponline.com in 2005.

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