Image file thumbnail is a convenient Windows feature. The small image preview helps to quickly identify, find, sort, or choose from large number of photos stored on your computer. Thus it can be very disappointing when Windows 10 picture thumbnails are not displaying on your Windows 10 PC.
Finding desired photos from your computer would become an arduous task. But fortunately you can get back picture thumbnails in Windows 10. Here we bring the best six solutions, which you can try to fix thumbnails not displaying on Windows 10:
- Check the ‘View’ option in File Explorer
- Change File Explorer thumbnail view settings
- Restore default settings in File Explorer
- Delete thumbnail cache
- Configure visual effect settings in Control Panel
- Use a photo repair tool
Causes of picture thumbnails not showing in Windows 10 PC
You may wonder why suddenly photo thumbnails stop showing, if they were working fine before. There could be many reasons. Some users reported the problem after Windows 10 upgrade. So it could be an OS bug that has changed the File Explorer settings after update. Besides, over a period of time, thumbnail cache files hoard up occupying large drive space and often corrupting the cache database. Corruption in the image file will also not let the picture thumbnails appear in Windows 10.
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Methods to fix Windows 10 picture thumbnails not showing
1. Check the View option in File Explorer
Whenever image thumbnails don’t appear in Windows 10, first ensure you are viewing photos using the right option in the ‘View’ tab in File Explorer. Open the ‘View’ tab in File Explorer top menu bar. Check the view option you are using to see the image files saved in the folder.
To see the image thumbnails use from the ‘Tiles’, ‘Content’, ‘Extra large icons’, ‘Large icons’, and ‘Medium icons’ options in File Explorer. Thumbnails preview won’t be visible in ‘Lists, ‘Details’ and ‘Small icons’ options.
2. Change File Explorer thumbnail view settings
If you cannot see picture thumbnails in Windows 10, check the File Explorer settings. Open ‘File Explorer’ and select ‘File Explorer Options’ from the menu. In the ‘View’ tab, uncheck ‘Always show icons, never thumbnails’ option and click Apply. You should now be able to see picture thumbnails.
3. Restore default settings in File Explorer
You can also restore the default view settings in File Explorer in Windows 10. Go to the ‘File Explorer Options’ and in the ‘View’ tab, click on ‘Restore Defaults’ button. Next, click ‘Apply’. This should show photos thumbnails in Windows 10.
4. Delete thumbnail cache
The thumbnail cache files of your photos on Windows 10 accumulate with time. This cache data can get corrupt due to which thumbnails may not appear. However, you can rebuild thumbnail database by deleting the cache using either Disk Cleanup or command prompt in Windows.
Steps to delete thumbnails cache with Disk Cleanup in Windows 10:
1. Navigate to File Explorer > This PC.
2. Right-click on the C: drive and choose Properties.
3. Click on Disk Cleanup. This opens Disk Cleanup box.
4. Check Thumbnails and uncheck all the other options.
5. Click OK > Delete Files.
Now picture thumbnails should show up in Windows 10
(Alternative method to delete thumbnail cache) Steps to delete thumbnail cache by using Command Prompt:
- Open command Prompt window from the search box in Windows 10.
- Type the command: taskkill /f /im explorer.exe and hit Enter.
- Type the command: del /f /s /q /a %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer\thumbcache_*.db and hit Enter.
- Type the command: start explorer.exe and hit Enter.
- Close the Command Prompt window.
Now open File Explorer and check if the thumbnail problem is resolved or not.
5. Configure visual effect settings in Control Panel
Try by changing the visual effects settings in Windows 10, if picture thumbnails not displaying.
Steps to change visual effects settings:
1. Type ‘View advanced system settings’ in Windows 10 search bar.
2. Click on View advanced system settings in Control Panel.
3. Select the Advanced tab in the System Properties box.
4. Click Settings under Performance to open Performance Options window.
5. Click on the Visual Effects tab.
6. Under Custom, check in Save taskbar thumbnail previews and Show thumbnails instead of icons.
7. Click OK.
Now, check if the thumbnails appear in Windows 10 File Explorer.
6. Use a photo repair tool
When an image file is corrupt, then too its thumbnail won’t show up. Check if the photos are opening properly or not. If not, then use a photo repair tool to fix the corrupt picture.
Software like Stellar Repair for Photo can repair corrupt file header and data. It also extracts the thumbnails of severely damaged pictures. Stellar Repair for Photo is an extremely simple tool that can fix all popular picture formats including JPEG/ JPG, TIFF, ARF, SR2, NEF, DNG, and RAW etc. You can repair unlimited number of corrupt photos of which thumbnails are not showing in Windows with the help of the software.
If Windows 10 picture thumbnails are not showing, ensure you are using the correct file view option that displays the thumbnails. If the image view setting is fine, change the File Explorer settings. Further, try to restore image thumbnails on your Windows PC by deleting the thumbnail cache.
Configuring the visual effect settings to show thumbnails instead of icons can also fix the issue. Further, if the pictures are corrupt, their thumbnails won’t appear or open. Try an efficient photo repair software that can repair corrupt photos. Once the damaged photos are repaired, you can view their thumbnails in Windows 10 again.
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