How to Fix Thumbnail Previews Not Showing in Windows 11/10 Explorer

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Thumbnail previews play an necessary position in serving to you establish content material inside picture and video recordsdata. However, Windows 11 and Windows 10 can cease displaying them for a number of causes. Older iterations of the working system have additionally had the identical difficulty.

In most circumstances, you’ll see clean thumbnails due to incorrectly configured File Explorer settings (known as Windows Explorer earlier) or a corrupt thumbnail cache. But not often, you possibly can be coping with one thing as extreme as a malware infestation.

How to Fix Thumbnail Previews Not Showing in Windows 11/10 Explorer

Work by the fixes beneath to get all thumbnails displaying in Windows 11 and 10 as quickly as doable.

Note: By design, Windows 11 can not show thumbnail previews for folders. Hence, the next fixes solely influence file previews in Microsoft’s latest working system.

Check Folder View Options

Your first plan of action is to test if Windows 11 or Windows 10 is about up to show thumbnail previews in File Explorer. You can try this through the File Explorer Options dialog.

1. Select the Search icon or field on the taskbar and sort file explorer choices.

2. Select Open

How to Fix Thumbnail Previews Not Showing in Windows 11/10 Explorer

3. Switch to the View tab.

4. Uncheck the field subsequent to Always present icons, by no means thumbnails.

How to Fix Thumbnail Previews Not Showing in Windows 11/10 Explorer

5. Select Apply, then OK.

If you had to activate the choice in step 4, File Explorer ought to generate thumbnails instantly. If you didn’t have to do something, transfer on with the remainder of the fixes.

Force-Restart File Explorer

File Explorer can also bug out for no cause and stop functioning correctly. The quickest manner to repair that’s to restart it utilizing the Task Manager.

1. Press Shift + Ctrl + Esc to open the Task Manager.

2. Select More particulars (if wanted) to develop the default Task Manager view.

How to Fix Thumbnail Previews Not Showing in Windows 11/10 Explorer

3. Under the Processes tab, find and choose Windows Explorer.

4. Select the Restart button to restart File Explorer.

How to Fix Thumbnail Previews Not Showing in Windows 11/10 Explorer

5. Exit the Task Manager.

If picture or video recordsdata (and folders in Windows 10) nonetheless seem clean, strive restarting the working system as an alternative.

Delete Thumbnail Cache

If the thumbnails are nonetheless not displaying, the probabilities are you’re coping with a corrupt thumbnail cache. Deleting it helps File Explorer regenerate previews from scratch.

1. Open the Start menu and choose Settings.

How to Fix Thumbnail Previews Not Showing in Windows 11/10 Explorer

2. Select System > Storage.

How to Fix Thumbnail Previews Not Showing in Windows 11/10 Explorer

3. Select Temporary Files.

How to Fix Thumbnail Previews Not Showing in Windows 11/10 Explorer

4. Check the field subsequent to Thumbnails and choose Remove recordsdata.

How to Fix Thumbnail Previews Not Showing in Windows 11/10 Explorer

5. Restart your laptop.

Delete Thumbnail Cache (Alternate Method)

If you have got hassle deleting the thumbnail cache through the Storage Settings in Windows 11 or Windows 10, do that different methodology involving the legacy Disk Cleanup app as an alternative.

1. Press Windows + R to open the Run field.

2. Type cleanmgr and choose OK.

How to Fix Thumbnail Previews Not Showing in Windows 11/10 Explorer

3. Check the field subsequent to Thumbnails.

How to Fix Thumbnail Previews Not Showing in Windows 11/10 Explorer

4. Select OK.

Restore File Explorer Defaults

Restarting File Explorer’s View choices to their defaults may also repair points stopping Windows 11 and 10 from displaying thumbnails appropriately.

1. Search for and open the File Explorer Options dialog.

2. Switch to the View tab.

3. Select Restore Defaults.

How to Fix Thumbnail Previews Not Showing in Windows 11/10 Explorer

4. Select Apply, then OK.

Revert Default Application

Is the problem restricted to a selected picture or video format? Setting up a distinct default program could trigger that. Try configuring it to open in a local Microsoft app. 

1. Right-click any file in the file format and level to Open with.

2. Select Choose one other app.

How to Fix Thumbnail Previews Not Showing in Windows 11/10 Explorer

3. Pick a local app– e.g., Photos (for photos) or Movies & TV (for movies).

4. Check the field subsequent to Always use this app to open recordsdata.

How to Fix Thumbnail Previews Not Showing in Windows 11/10 Explorer

5. Select OK.

Install the Relevant Codecs

Conversely, picture and video recordsdata associated to non-supported codecs in Windows could not show thumbnail previews. You can try to repair that by putting in the related codecs.

For instance, the iPhone’s default HEIC picture format received’t render thumbnails on Windows except you put in HEIC Image Extensions

On the opposite hand, the K-Lite Codec Pack can assist you with unusual video codecs.

Update the Graphics Drivers

Outdated graphics drivers trigger efficiency points and stop varied Windows options (akin to thumbnail previews) from working appropriately. Check with the video card producer’s web site (akin to NVIDIA or AMD) for a more moderen driver model or use a free driver updater software to get every part up-to-date.

Additionally, it’s an incredible concept to test Windows Update for any Microsoft-verified show driver updates.

1. Open the Settings app.

2. Select Windows Update.

3. Select Check for updates. After Windows Update finishes scanning for updates, choose Advanced Options. On Windows 10, choose View non-compulsory updates as an alternative and skip the following step.

How to Fix Thumbnail Previews Not Showing in Windows 11/10 Explorer

4. Select Optional updates.

How to Fix Thumbnail Previews Not Showing in Windows 11/10 Explorer

5. Pick any display-related driver updates and choose Download & set up.

How to Fix Thumbnail Previews Not Showing in Windows 11/10 Explorer

While you’re at it, we additionally advocate making use of the most recent updates for Windows itself. They normally include bug fixes for system-related options and simply would possibly assist patch points with File Explorer for good.

Run an SFC Scan

Try operating a scan utilizing the System File Checker. It’s a command-line software that helps resolve doable file corruption points in Windows 11 and 10.

1. Press Windows + X and choose Windows Terminal (Admin) or Windows PowerShell (Terminal).

How to Fix Thumbnail Previews Not Showing in Windows 11/10 Explorer

2. Type the next command:

sfc /scannow

How to Fix Thumbnail Previews Not Showing in Windows 11/10 Explorer

3. Press Enter.

An SFC scan usually takes some time to full. If it manages to discover and repair points, you may want to proceed by operating the DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) tool.

Run Anti-Malware Scan

If the problem with non-displaying thumbnails continues or recurs, you could be coping with File Explorer-hijacking software program. Use Windows Security to carry out a radical scan of your laptop for malware.

1. Search for and open Windows Security.

2. Select Virus & risk safety.

How to Fix Thumbnail Previews Not Showing in Windows 11/10 Explorer

3. Scroll down to the Virus & risk safety settings part and set up any pending antimalware definition updates. Then, scroll again up and choose Scan choices.

How to Fix Thumbnail Previews Not Showing in Windows 11/10 Explorer

4. Check the radio button subsequent to Full scan.

5. Select Scan now.

How to Fix Thumbnail Previews Not Showing in Windows 11/10 Explorer

Alternatively, you may use a dedicated malware remover akin to Malwarebytes to discover and remove dangerous forms of malware.

File Explorer Displaying Thumbnail Previews Again

If you’re employed with photos and movies, then thumbnail previews are indispensable. Hopefully, the options above helped, and File Explorer is again to displaying them appropriately. It’s an important function that’s properly value taking the time to repair. If the problem recurs (and it very properly would possibly), simply run by the fixes above, and you ought to be effective.

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