How to Fix Windows 10 Picture Thumbnails Not Showing

Is your window photo preview not working? And you’re unable to view your thumbnail feature in your Windows 10. Don’t get panic we bring you the full step-guide solution to get your image, icons, and media file viewing experience back

May 19,2020 • Filed to: Photo/Video/Audio Solutions • Proven solutions

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In this piece, we’re going to cover the whole issue of thumbnail feature including,

So that you can understand why it always disappears and how you can prevent and solve it if anything goes wrong in the future.

Part 1. What’s the Picture Thumbnail Feature

With the advent of the digital platform, the visual search engines came into existence which uses the reduced size of pictures and videos that helps in recognizing and organizing them. This data-load reducing mechanism is known as the Thumbnail feature. This is also used by modern operating systems or desktops environments, such as Microsoft Windows, macOS, and what not?

A thumbnail is a compressed preview image of the original one, which is used as a placeholder. Depending upon the platform the image thumbnail carries a certain size. However, there is not any definite definition of thumbnails’ size.

Why You Need Picture Thumbnails

The biggest advantage of thumbnails is their reduced file size as compared to the original one. The small size of the thumbnail feature enables the sites’ loading faster. Because it allows the visitor to have a lot of content immediately without increasing the loading time of any page.

Further advantages,

Also, you can see the use of thumbnails on the various prominent digital platforms like YouTube, Google, Pinterest, and Amazon.

Will Thumbnails Get Corrupted or Deleted

As we’ve mentioned above, thumbnails are nothing but small versions of original images. In case anything goes wrong with your original photos. For sure your thumbnail feature won’t work and can generate problems for other image folders. Hence, we should always take care of a few things while working with images like don’t turn it off directly from the main socket, update it regularly, install antivirus, etc. To ensure that original images won’t get corrupted, which can affect the functioning of Thumbnail features.

If still, anything goes wrong, don’t get panic, you can always recover your data by using the Recoverit application. We’re going to discuss this in our next section. Let’s jump into it.


Part 2: Check Picture Status to Fix Thumbnails Not Showing in Windows 10

Before knowing how to recover your images, we must know why it is happening especially with Windows 10 only.

When the Windows 10 update was launched in October 2018, it was a total blunder. Not only files were getting deleted on it, but the task manager was also having 100 CPU usage. Later on, Microsoft’s director of program management for Windows servicing and delivery, John Cable admitted the issue by writing a blog.

If you’re still using the same version then you may also have faced the same issue. Don’t worry we are here to give you a solution regarding picture thumbnails not showing windows 10.

Here you go with the first one,

Recover and Preview Deleted Pictures with Recoverit

We never wanted you to waste your precious time, that’s why we’ve got you Recoverit Data Recovery software, which is a revolutionary solution to recover permanently deleted photos and files from all latest versions of Windows computers. Whether it is about your so much delicate windows drive-C or an external USB drive, it gives one click solution to get your important data back.

To know how to use Recoverit software, you need to go through from following steps,

First, you need to download Recoverit photo recovery software on your, and then only you can follow the below-given steps to restore your images or photos.

Step 1. Launch Recoverit application and select a location to get started.

Selecting the drive

Step-2: Now, Recoverit photo recovery software will begin its scanning process and take a few seconds to search your lost photos.

Recoverit Scanning process

Step-3: After the scanning process you will have a list of lost photos that you can recover. Select the one that you want to recover. Choose a path where you want to save it and then hit the ‘Recover Button’

Choosing path to save

Now, check your files on your chosen path and enjoy it using as you want.

It’s time to move on to the second method because knowing more ways to do one thing is good for your knowledge.

Restore and View Pictures from Windows 10 Recycle Bin

Applies to undelete photos from Windows 10 Desktop, Windows internal hard drive, and partitions.

Step 1: Double-click on the Recycle Bin icon on Windows 10 Desktop.

Step 2: Locate and right-click on the deleted photos, select "Restore".

Step 3: The deleted photos will be restored from Recycle Bin to its original locations.

Restoring files from recycle bin


Part 3. Enable Thumbnails to Fix Thumbnails Not Displaying in Windows 10

Enable Thumbnails in the Folder Settings

Step-1: Click on the file menu and choose options. It will open the folder options dialog box.

Step-2: Uncheck the “Always show icons, never thumbnails” from the view tab of folder options.

Unchecking ‘Always show icons’ option

Step-3: Now, click on the OK button.

By clicking on the Ok button, you’ve restored the thumbnail images for your pictures, media, and all other file types.

Enable Picture Thumbnails in Control Panel

Step 1: Open your PC’s control panel and view the items in the large icons.

Step 2: Now, click on the system and Advanced system settings.

Step 3: In the Advanced tab, click settings under the performance section.

Selecting “show thumbnail instead of icons”

Step 4: At this point make sure that ‘Show thumbnails instead of icons’ is checked.

Restore File Explorer Options to Default

Step-1: Open File Explorer. Click on the View tab.

Step-2: Click on the Options button.

Opening drop-down menu of ‘Options’

Step-3: Click on the View tab and then tap on the Reset Folders button.

Restoring file explorer to Default settings

Step-4: Click the Yes button and then OK.

Once you’re done with the above-given steps the folder will reset to the default template settings. And your thumbnails will get enabled to your system’s interface automatically.

Enable thumbnails cache with disk cleanup

Step-1: Open the search box by tapping the Window button and tap disk cleanup. Then select the disk cleanup application to start the process.

Opening ‘Disk-cleanup application’

Step-2: A drive dialogue box will open in front of you. Select your operating system drive (typically drive-C) and then click on the OK button.

Selecting the drive for Cleanup

Step-3: Now select the disk-cleanup tab. Under the ‘files to delete’ scroll menu check the Thumbnails option and uncheck all other options and then click OK.

Checking the Thumbnail option

Step 4: Again, a dialogue box will pop-up click on the delete file option to confirm that you permanently want to delete these thumbnails cache files.

Confirming to delete the Cache files

Now your thumbnails cache is cleared successfully.

Run Scan Health to Clear Thumbnail Cache

Step-1: First of all, you’ve to close all running programs and folders.

Step-2: Then open a Command Prompt window

Step-3: Make sure to exit the Explorer shell

Step-4: To clear thumbnail cache to follow the below-given command,

del "%LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer\thumbcache*.db" /a

Using command prompt to delete cache files

If in case your Access is Denied then maybe more than one program is using the thumbnail cache database one or more of the open programs are using the thumb cache database. Close all of them and try again the same procedure from safe mode.

Step-5: Once you’re done with the above steps, open the Task Manager (Taskmanager.exe) and Click on File → Run new task → explorer.exe → click OK.

Enabling Thumbnail feature from explorer.exe.

This procedure is the thumbnail feature for your all media, start menu, Taskbar, and the desktop, which is collectively called “Explorer shell”.

Full Guide to Preview Pictures in Windows 10

Step-1: First open the file explorer (a folder-shaped File Explorer icon at the bottom of the desktop screen). If it is not present there then search it from the start menu search box.

Opening file explorer

Step-2: Open your folder by using the file explorer’s left-hand column. Thereafter, navigate to the folder in which you want to enable image previews.

Opening folder

Step-3: Now click the View tab placed on the upper-left side of the file explorer window. A toolbar will drop-down in front of you.

Opening the view menu

Step-4: Thereafter click on the options icon placed on the upper-right corner of the window. You can resemble it through a white box having checkmarks on it. Clicking on it a pop-up window will appear.

Pulling up the options menu

Step-5: Now click on the view tab placed at the top of the pop-up window.

Opening the view menu

Step-6: Look for files and folder section near the bottom of the window and right there uncheck the “always show icons” option If you can’t see it then first double-click the “files and folders” heading to make it appear down below it. After unchecking click on the apply button and then hit OK.

Unchecking ‘Always show icons, never thumbnails’

Step-7: After following the whole process make sure your folder is displaying the proper viewing option so that you can see the thumbnails preview better. You can choose the preferred viewing format from small/large/extra large accordingly.

preview picture in folder window 10


Part 4: How to Prevent Windows 10 Images Corruption or Loss

After studying the causes of Image corruption and deletion, we are here with prevention that you can practice which will ensure you do not fall in any unwanted situation. Because “prevention is always better than cure”.

Here you go preventive measures that you should study to avoid ‘windows 10 image thumbnails not showing’ issue.

Ensure, is your photo viewer compatible with your system:

Did you check that your photo viewer is with your computer’s configuration? Let’s say you have an X64 CPU, then most probably your photo viewer would be unable to perform optimally because it is not compatible with the CPU. In that case check for the latest updates available for your photo viewer, install, and run it.

Take backup:

Taking regular backup of your data to iTunes or GDrive helps to do work carelessly. You can download your important data anytime if it gets lost.

Insert/eject your storage media properly:

It can be observed that most of us eject the storage media carelessly. Always follow the proper procedure of insertion and ejection while using any USB drive.

Let the computer finish the task:

Don’t be impulsive while downloading, sending, and uploading any image. Let the system take time to finish the process. If you interrupt in-between, it may corrupt your photos. Also, avoid unplugging your power supply directly from the socket.

If your system is taking time to save or download or upload an image, then give it time to finish the process. Do not interrupt the process in-between as this may corrupt your photos. Moreover, unplugging the power supply directly from the circuit should be avoided as well.

Ensure your system has a consistent power supply:

The most important but least focused factor which leads to almost 2/3rd of file corruption is lack of power backups. Hence, always invest in a good power backup or UPS. If anything goes wrong with your power supply, you always have extra power back-up to avoid any abrupt or sudden shutdown and image corruption.

Do not work on the original files:

If you frequently have this issue of the corrupted image then try to avoid working on the original files. Instead of it, work on copies. It is because, when you work on a copied version of the image then if unfortunately, anything again goes wrong, your original photos are safe and untouched. You can start over again with another copy version and save it when you’re done.


Closing Words

Since 2018 Windows 10 updates have given chance to the technical critics to earn some more bucks. But we believe that every technical aspect needs to improve. That’s why they offer updates. And for every problem, there is a solution. And we hope that our piece has helped you to solve your thumbnail feature issue in windows 10. For more technical guidance stay connected with us.

Eleanor Reed

staff Editor

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