Fix “No Preview Available” and No Thumbnails for Media Files

When you click a video file in File Explorer, the Preview pane may not show the image preview nor the mini-player control for the chosen file. In some cases, No preview available message is shown in the Preview pane for selected or all media file types.

fix for no preview available and no thumbnail

Enable Thumbnails and Preview Handlers

The first step is to make sure the folder settings are configured correctly.

  1. Click the File menu in File Explorer, and select Change folder and search options.
  2. In the Folder Options dialog, click the View tab.
  3. Uncheck Always show icons, never thumbnails
  4. Enable Show preview handlers in preview pane
    fix for no preview available and no thumbnail
  5. Click OK.

This enables the thumbnail previews and also activates the Preview handlers that are registered for each file type.

Preview pane says “No Preview Available”

There are situations where the Folder Options settings do not make any difference. Some video file types may still show “No preview available” and without displaying a thumbnail. This happens if the preview and/or thumbnail handler shell extension registration is missing for that file type. By default, the Windows Media Player’s Rich Preview Handler is registered for the following video file types out of the box.

3G2, 3GP, ASF, AVI, M2TS, MP4, MPE, MPEG, MPG, TTS, WMV

fix for no preview available and no thumbnail

This usually occurs after associating the file type with a different multimedia player, but the player doesn’t add the required registry keys. The ultimate fix is to add the thumbnail hander and the preview handler shell extensions for media files using the registry fix below.



After running the fix, image thumbnails, as well as the previews, should work fine for the supported file types, no matter which program you set as the default.

Registry Fix

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

;Thumbnail and Preview Handler Registration for Video file types
;Created by Ramesh Srinivasan on July 4 2016
;https://www.winhelponline.com

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.3gp\ShellEx\{8895b1c6-b41f-4c1c-a562-0d564250836f}]
@="{031EE060-67BC-460d-8847-E4A7C5E45A27}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.3gp\ShellEx\{BB2E617C-0920-11D1-9A0B-00C04FC2D6C1}]
@="{9DBD2C50-62AD-11D0-B806-00C04FD706EC}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.3gp\ShellEx\{e357fccd-a995-4576-b01f-234630154e96}]
@="{9DBD2C50-62AD-11D0-B806-00C04FD706EC}"


[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.asf\ShellEx\{8895b1c6-b41f-4c1c-a562-0d564250836f}]
@="{031EE060-67BC-460d-8847-E4A7C5E45A27}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.asf\ShellEx\{BB2E617C-0920-11D1-9A0B-00C04FC2D6C1}]
@="{9DBD2C50-62AD-11D0-B806-00C04FD706EC}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.asf\ShellEx\{e357fccd-a995-4576-b01f-234630154e96}]
@="{9DBD2C50-62AD-11D0-B806-00C04FD706EC}"


[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.avi\ShellEx\{8895b1c6-b41f-4c1c-a562-0d564250836f}]
@="{031EE060-67BC-460d-8847-E4A7C5E45A27}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.avi\ShellEx\{BB2E617C-0920-11D1-9A0B-00C04FC2D6C1}]
@="{9DBD2C50-62AD-11D0-B806-00C04FD706EC}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.avi\ShellEx\{e357fccd-a995-4576-b01f-234630154e96}]
@="{9DBD2C50-62AD-11D0-B806-00C04FD706EC}"


[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.mov\ShellEx\{8895b1c6-b41f-4c1c-a562-0d564250836f}]
@="{031EE060-67BC-460d-8847-E4A7C5E45A27}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.mov\ShellEx\{BB2E617C-0920-11D1-9A0B-00C04FC2D6C1}]
@="{9DBD2C50-62AD-11D0-B806-00C04FD706EC}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.mov\ShellEx\{e357fccd-a995-4576-b01f-234630154e96}]
@="{9DBD2C50-62AD-11D0-B806-00C04FD706EC}"


[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.mkv\ShellEx\{8895b1c6-b41f-4c1c-a562-0d564250836f}]
@="{031EE060-67BC-460d-8847-E4A7C5E45A27}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.mkv\ShellEx\{BB2E617C-0920-11D1-9A0B-00C04FC2D6C1}]
@="{9DBD2C50-62AD-11D0-B806-00C04FD706EC}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.mkv\ShellEx\{e357fccd-a995-4576-b01f-234630154e96}]
@="{9DBD2C50-62AD-11D0-B806-00C04FD706EC}"


[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.mp4\ShellEx\{8895b1c6-b41f-4c1c-a562-0d564250836f}]
@="{031EE060-67BC-460d-8847-E4A7C5E45A27}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.mp4\ShellEx\{BB2E617C-0920-11D1-9A0B-00C04FC2D6C1}]
@="{9DBD2C50-62AD-11D0-B806-00C04FD706EC}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.mp4\ShellEx\{e357fccd-a995-4576-b01f-234630154e96}]
@="{9DBD2C50-62AD-11D0-B806-00C04FD706EC}"


[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.mpe\ShellEx\{8895b1c6-b41f-4c1c-a562-0d564250836f}]
@="{031EE060-67BC-460d-8847-E4A7C5E45A27}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.mpe\ShellEx\{BB2E617C-0920-11D1-9A0B-00C04FC2D6C1}]
@="{9DBD2C50-62AD-11D0-B806-00C04FD706EC}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.mpe\ShellEx\{e357fccd-a995-4576-b01f-234630154e96}]
@="{9DBD2C50-62AD-11D0-B806-00C04FD706EC}"


[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.mpeg\ShellEx\{8895b1c6-b41f-4c1c-a562-0d564250836f}]
@="{031EE060-67BC-460d-8847-E4A7C5E45A27}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.mpeg\ShellEx\{BB2E617C-0920-11D1-9A0B-00C04FC2D6C1}]
@="{9DBD2C50-62AD-11D0-B806-00C04FD706EC}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.mpeg\ShellEx\{e357fccd-a995-4576-b01f-234630154e96}]
@="{9DBD2C50-62AD-11D0-B806-00C04FD706EC}"


[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.mpg\ShellEx\{8895b1c6-b41f-4c1c-a562-0d564250836f}]
@="{031EE060-67BC-460d-8847-E4A7C5E45A27}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.mpg\ShellEx\{BB2E617C-0920-11D1-9A0B-00C04FC2D6C1}]
@="{9DBD2C50-62AD-11D0-B806-00C04FD706EC}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.mpg\ShellEx\{e357fccd-a995-4576-b01f-234630154e96}]
@="{9DBD2C50-62AD-11D0-B806-00C04FD706EC}"


[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.wmv\ShellEx\{8895b1c6-b41f-4c1c-a562-0d564250836f}]
@="{031EE060-67BC-460d-8847-E4A7C5E45A27}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.wmv\ShellEx\{BB2E617C-0920-11D1-9A0B-00C04FC2D6C1}]
@="{9DBD2C50-62AD-11D0-B806-00C04FD706EC}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.wmv\ShellEx\{e357fccd-a995-4576-b01f-234630154e96}]
@="{9DBD2C50-62AD-11D0-B806-00C04FD706EC}"

How to use: Copy the above lines to Notepad, and save the file as “fix-video-preview.reg”. Double-click the file to apply the settings to the registry.

This should restore back the thumbnail as well as Preview functionality in Explorer.

fix for no preview available and no thumbnail


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About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 10 consecutive years from 2003 to 2012.

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