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Software and Operating SystemWindows 10 Knowledge Base

Fix: Thumbnail Previews Are Not Showing In Windows 10/8/7

As a graphic artist in my “other” life, I have been asked what to do when photographers and artists no longer see thumbnail images, but only generic icons. 

People working with images often prefer to be more organized by viewing small images of what a file contains rather than details or icons.

Enabling and disabling the thumbnail display feature can be accomplished several ways.

The following are the two easiest ways to configure this without having to use the Group Policy Editor or edit the Windows Registry

 

Option 1

Use File Explorer Options to enable or disable thumbnail previews.

 

To enable:

Go File Explorer and click on the File that you wish to open.

In the File Menu options, click on Change folder and Search options

When the Folder Options dialog box opens, click the View tab.

 

 

Make sure the Always show icons, never thumbnails option appearing under Advanced Settings is UNchecked.

Click Ok and Apply the settings.

 

 

Conversely, to disable follow these steps:

Go File Explorer and click on the File to open.

In the File Menu options, click on Change folder and Search options

This will open the Folder Options dialog box. Click the View tab.

Under Advanced Settings check the Always show icons, never thumbnails option.

Click Ok and Apply settings.

 


Option 2

Show Thumbnail previews via Control Panel

 

To enable follow these steps:

From the Start Menu or via Search access the Control Panel.

Click on System and Security and click System.

Select Advance System Settings (on the left-side panel).

In the System Properties window, click Settings under the Performance heading. 

 

 

In the Performance Options dialog, click the Visual Effects tab. 

 

  1. Check the Show thumbnails instead of icons under the Custom  heading.
  2. Press OK and Apply to save changes.

 

To Disable thumbnail previews via Control Panel, uncheck the Show thumbnails instead of icons under the Custom heading.

 

Hopefully, this will have your file viewing options set as you prefer.

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