How to fix Thumbnails Not Showing in Windows 11, 10?

Thumbnails Not Showing in Windows

Last updated on September 4th, 2023 at 1:01 pm

Thumbnails easily represent different files without the need to open them. Although Windows 11 is a leading operating system offering dedicated support to the thumbnail preview for videos and images. However, certain situations may cause the Windows 10 thumbnails not showing problems. So, what to do in such cases?

There is no need to worry as it is easy to troubleshoot this problem quickly with the help of the easy steps mentioned below. Let us go through the top reasons causing Thumbnails not showing in Windows 11, 10 followed by the quick fixes for the same.

Why are Thumbnails not showing in Windows 11 and 10?

Before jumping to the quick fixes for Windows 10 thumbnails not showing, it is important to go through the different reasons causing this problem. So, some of the top causes of Thumbnails not showing on your Windows operating system are:

  1. Corrupted or missing files
  2. Insufficient free space  due to cache files
  3. Less optimized files view
  4. Incompatible visual effects settings
  5. Incorrect Thumbnail preview settings

Top fixes for Thumbnails not showing in Windows 11, 10:

Now is the turn of the top solutions to handle Windows thumbnails not showing situation. These include:

  1. Enabling thumbnails for Windows

The thumbnail problem can be due to the disabled thumbnail for Windows. So, the steps to enable them are as follows:

  • Go to “File Explorer” by pressing the “Windows + S” keys.
  • Type the “File Explorer” option and click “Enter.”
 File Explorer
  • Go to the “View” tab and uncheck the “Always show icons, never thumbnails” option.
  • Now, click on the “Apply” option and select “OK.”
Always show icons, never thumbnails

2. Restarting Windows Explorer

It is easy to restart Windows Explorer to overcome any errors in the File Explorer option causing thumbnail issues in Windows 11, 10. The quick steps for restarting Windows Explorer are as follows:

  • Launch the “Task Manager” on your system by pressing the “Ctrl + Shift + Esc” keys.
  • Expand the “Task Manager” by clicking on the “More details” option.

Alt text: selecting more details option

  • Find the “Windows Explorer” option in the process tab and then select “Restart.”
Windows Explorer

3. Restoring File Explorer options

It is easy to restore the File Explorer option to the default settings to fix the Windows 10 thumbnail not showing problem. It can be done using the following steps:

  • Go to the “Start” menu and type the “File Explorer” option. Then press “Enter.”
  • Go to the “View” option in the “File Explorer Options” window.
  • Click on the “Restore Defaults” button.
  • Click on the “Apply” and “OK” option.
Restore Defaults

4. Modifying advanced system settings

Any changes in the Windows performance options may lead to issues in thumbnails. So, the advanced system settings can be modified using the following steps:

  • Go to the “Start” menu.
  • Go to the “advanced system settings” and press “Enter.”
  • Open the System properties window and go to the “Advanced” tab.
 advanced system settings
  • Now select the “Settings” option under the “Performance” section.
  • Go to the “Visual effects” tab, select “Custom,” and check on the “Save taskbar thumbnail previews” and “Show thumbnail instead of icons” options.
  • Then click on “Apply” and “OK” to save changes.

5. Changing the default app type

The Windows thumbnail not showing issue can occur on certain files due to the set default application. Hence, this problem can be resolved by changing the default app type in the following ways:

  • Select the problematic file type, right-click on it, and go to the “Open” option.
  • Now, select “Choose another app.”
  • Here, select the different applications and check on the box “Always use this app to open files.” Next, click “OK” to save changes.
Always use this app to open files

6. Rebuilding thumbnail cache

It is easy to rebuild the thumbnail cache as the data, when it gets corrupted, fails to load the thumbnails. So, the detailed steps for rebuilding the thumbnail cache are as follows:

  • Go to “Windows + I” to open Settings.
  • Go to the “Storage” option.
  • Go to the “Temporary Files” option.
  • Select the “Thumbnails” and go to the “Remove files” option.

7. Confirming the context menu

Windows could have been using codecs for software to display thumbnails. Hence, it is recommended to confirm the context menu by the following steps:

  • Open the File Explorer by pressing the “Win + E” option.
  • Navigate to the required folder and select the image that is not showing the thumbnail.
  • Right-click on the image and select the preferred location.
  • It will start showing a thumbnail after this step.
Confirming the context menu

8. Running SFC scan

It is easy to run the System File Check to manage thumbnails issue due to missing or corrupted system files. The detailed instructions are as follows:

  • Use the shortcut keys “Win + R” on your system and open the “Run” command.
  • Type “cmd” and press “Ctrl + Shift + Enter” at the same time.
  • Type the “sfc / scannow” command and press “Enter.”
  • It will look for possible corrupt files and fix them successfully.
  • Once the success message is displayed, it is time to close the window and reboot the system. Open File Explorer to check if the thumbnail problem is solved.
Running SFC scan

9. Changing Group Policy Editor Settings

It is easy to make changes to the Group Policy Editor settings to eliminate the thumbnails not showing problem. The quick steps for changing the GPEdit settings are as follows:

  • Use the shortcut keys “Win + R” on your system and open the “Run” command.
  • Type “gpedit.msc” and click “OK” to launch the Group Policy Editor window.
  • Follow the below path on the left side of the pane in the Group Policy Editor.

User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar

  • Find the “Turn off taskbar thumbnails” option located at the end of the three lists on the right side of the pane.
  • Now, turn off the taskbar Thumbnails dialogue box and select “Disable.”
group policy editor

10. Scanning for malware

Last in our list of the top fixes for the Thumbnails not showing is to run a malware scan on your system. If any of the above-mentioned methods fail to show Thumbnails on your Windows 11, 10 system, chances are high that your system is a victim of malware. So, you can quickly go to the Windows Defender or can use any other anti-virus program to scan your system for possible malware.

Wrapping Up:

Hope everything is clear to our readers about the Windows 10 thumbnails not showing problem. It can be due to missing or corrupted files, less optimized file views, insufficient free space, or incorrect settings. Beginners and professionals can go for the detailed fixes for Thumbnails not showing in Windows 11, 10 to ensure seamless functionality.

Author Bio:

Dinesh Lakhwani

Dinesh Lakhwani, the entrepreneurial brain behind “TechCommuters,” achieved big things in the tech world. He started the company to make smart and user-friendly tech solutions. Thanks to his sharp thinking, focus on quality and the motto of never giving up, TechCommuters became a top player in the industry. His commitment to excellence has propelled the company to a leading position in the industry.

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