How to fix windows Thumbnail not Showing – 4 Easy Fixes

How to fix windows Thumbnail not Showing

Image thumbnails are helpful because they reveal the photo’s content at a glance. What do you do if your Windows File Explorer doesn’t show thumbnails? How would you fix windows Thumbnail not showing? Don’t worry here are some ways that worked for you.

Fix Windows Thumbnail Not Showing

Let’s take a look at how can we fix the windows file explorer thumbnail not showing. You can try these solutions one by one. Let’s get started.

Check File Explorer Settings

The problem you’re experiencing may have been caused by an error in File Explorer’s settings. Instead of thumbnails, you might see icons here. By default, this option is checked for thumbnails. You may accidentally uncheck that option in file explorer settings. Here’s how to change this setting in File Explorer so that you can see thumbnails instead of just icons:

  • Type “File Explorer Options” into the Windows search box and click on Open.
  • Click on the View tab, when the File Explorer Options window comes up.
  • Simply uncheck the option “Always show icons, never thumbnails“.
  • Click Apply, then click OK.
Windows thumbnail not showing

You can also try resetting the File Explorer settings back to their original settings. Almost all of the steps are the same as above.

Just click on “Restore Defaults” this time.

Delete Thumbnail Cache

One reason why Windows doesn’t show thumbnails of photos is that thumbnail caches are broken or corrupted. Here’s how to clear your Windows computer’s thumbnail cache. Just follow these steps in order to clean the windows thumbnail cache.

  • Open file explorer.
  • Right-click on C Drive.
  • Look for “Disk Cleanup“.
  • OR simply search “Disk Cleanup” in the Windows search box and click “Open” on the right.
  • Click OK when the Disk Cleanup window comes up.
  • Check the box next to “Thumbnails” and then click “OK.”
  • Once Disk Cleanup deletes the thumbnail cache, Windows will rebuild it, and you should now be able to see thumbnails.

Change Visual Effects Settings

Change the settings for the “visual effects in Windows“. Sometimes some software change windows visual effect settings to gain maximum performance. In windows Visual Eddfect settings, you can disable or enable “Show thumbnails instead of icons” to get better performance. But you can disable this option. This will not affect the performance of your pc.

  • Type “View advanced system settings” into the Windows search box and click Open.
  • Click on the tab that says “Advanced” under “System Properties
  • Click the Settings link under Performance.
  • Click on Visual Effects in the Performance Options menu.
  • Click the “Custom” radio button and then check the boxes that say “Save taskbar thumbnail previews” and “Show thumbnails instead of icons“.
  • To save the changes, click OK.

Run SFC Scan

If image thumbnails still did not appear, it could be because system files are broken. The best thing to do is to use the administrative command prompt to run an SFC scan. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Type “cmd” in the Windows search box.
  • On the right, click on Run as administrator.
    When the Command Prompt window comes up, type SFC /scannow, press Enter, and wait for the scan to finish.

Once the scan is done, look to see if you can now see thumbnails that you couldn’t before.


If all of the above fixes did not work. Then you can try out a few more fixes. You cannot view images thumbnails in windows, it could be that your computer contains a virus, that is stealing or deleting your data silently. In this situation, you have to disconnect from the internet immediately and start a virus scan.

The other case might be the images that won’t show thumbnails, it might be possible that the images are not present there. It’s just a glitch, your images might be deleted and windows show their thumbnails, due to a glitch or error.

Restart your pc, and see if images are actually present there or not. See for possible windows update errors. If images are deleted you can use any third-party image recovery software like Recuva file recovery.

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