How-To

Enable or Disable Thumbnail Preview in Windows

Thumbnails show a preview of folders or pictures so you can easily find what you’re looking for. They are enabled on Windows 7 by default, but if you can’t view thumbnails for files for some reason, here’s how to enable them.

Thumbnails show a preview of folders or pictures so you can easily find what you’re looking for. They are enabled on Windows 7 by default, but if you can’t view thumbnails for files for some reason, here’s how to enable them.

Thumbnail Preview 1

Open Folder Options by going to Control Panel >> Folder Options.

Thumbnail Preview 2

Or, you can open Windows Explorer, press Alt and go to Tools >> Folder Options.
Thumbnail Preview 3

Click on View tab.

Thumbnail Preview 4

If you want to enable thumbnails, just uncheck Always show icon, never thumbnails option.

Thumbnail Preview 5

You can do the same thing in Windows 8. Use the keyboard shortcut Windows Key + W to bring up the Settings search field. Type: Folder Options and hit Enter or click the Folder Options icon in the results.

Then check or uncheck Always Show Icons, Never Thumbnails.

Disabling thumbnails can improve the performance of your system. If there’s a lot of thumbnails in a folder, it takes time to load each one. Disabling them on an older computer or netbook is a good idea to navigate through the OS more quickly.

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Paul

    April 24, 2016 at 10:18 am

    thank you for this!!

    • Riad

      May 20, 2017 at 2:23 pm

      thanks

  2. mohammad

    July 9, 2016 at 3:54 am

    grateful

  3. Surfer

    December 21, 2016 at 10:27 pm

    Thank. Solved my problem.

  4. Mr Kodok

    August 20, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    thanks boss… good job

  5. Timothy F

    March 27, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    Nope! Tried again. Tried previously… still doesn’t show picture thumbnails.

  6. C Hooper

    July 13, 2020 at 2:49 pm

    I followed your instructions and I discovered the “always show icons never thumbnails” is already unchecked. Can you offer any more suggestions for getting back the thumbnails on Windows 7 desktop folders?

    I would appreciate any suggestions you might have.

    Thank you very much.

  7. Cole

    February 5, 2021 at 5:41 am

    I have same problem, I guess no one has an answer for it.

  8. Max

    August 30, 2021 at 10:26 pm

    Thank you is an undervalue!

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