How to Fix Picture Thumbnails Not Showing in Windows

Do you need help with the issue of thumbnails not showing in Windows? Don't worry; the common issue is simple solutions. Learn quick fixes to display image previews effortlessly.

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Table of Contents

Updated by Jaden on Dec 19, 2023

Thumbnail previews are a handy way to spot photos and videos quickly on your Windows computer. But sometimes, you might notice a strange thing happening – instead of seeing the little pictures, you only see a plain icon for the file type. Don't worry; thumbnails not showing is a common issue with simple solutions.

Sometimes, Windows might stop showing these small picture previews because of specific changes you or your computer made. But you can fix it! This guide will explore easy ways to get those missing picture previews back on your Windows computer and resolve the thumbnails not showing in the Windows 11 issue. So, if you're wondering where your picture thumbnails have gone, keep reading for simple solutions.

Why Are My Picture Thumbnails Not Showing

Many users encounter this problem, which can be inconvenient when you can't preview your image files correctly. Let's explore why thumbnails are not showing in Windows, helping you understand the root causes and find practical solutions.

File Association Problems: Thumbnails might not show up if there are issues with the file associations on your computer. When your system doesn't recognize the file type, it can't generate thumbnails.

Corrupted Thumbnail Cache: Windows creates a cache of thumbnails to speed up the display process. If this cache becomes corrupted, your thumbnails won't show.

Disabled Thumbnail Preview: Thumbnail previews may have been disabled in your system settings. To address this issue, it's essential to identify the cause of the disabled thumbnail preview and then take appropriate steps to enable it, ensuring that image thumbnails display as intended in File Explorer.

Low System Resources: Sometimes, when your computer lacks memory or processing ability, it can't show picture previews, which is one of the main reasons thumbnails are not showing in Windows 11. 

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7 Ways to Fix Picture Thumbnails Not Showing

Let's discover some ways to fix picture thumbnails not showing issues in this part. Before you go to fix thumbnails not showing, watch this video first. It provides you with more details on Photo repair:

  1. 00:13 - Restart Windows Explorer
  2. 00:42 - Check if Thumbnails are disabled
  3. 01:15 - Reset Thumbnail Cache
  4. 01:53 - Change Default App

  1. 1. Fix Picture Thumbnails Not Showing with Repair Software
  2. 2. Restore Windows File Explorer Options to Default
  3. 3. Check If the Thumbnails Preview Are Disabled
  4. 4. Clear the Disk's Cache in Windows
  5. 5. Run the DISM Tool
  6. 6. Run an SFC Scan
  7. 7. Update Windows

1. Fix Picture Thumbnails Not Showing with Repair Software

If you're struggling with the annoying issue of picture thumbnails not showing in Windows, EaseUS Fixo Photo Repair can be your handy solution. Because when your thumbnails cannot display normally, they may result in picture corruption. This software is designed to tackle this problem and make your Windows experience smoother and more convenient. It helps in bringing back those missing picture thumbnails.

In addition to fixing missing picture thumbnails, EaseUS Fixo Photo Repair is versatile in repairing corrupted photos, videos, and files in various formats. Whether you have videos that won't play, photos that refuse to open, or documents filled with errors, this software can be your one-stop solution to get your digital assets back in working order. You can say goodbye to the frustration of inaccessible media and documents with EaseUS Fixo Photo Repair.

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Key Features:

  • Repairs damaged video and image, including MOV, MP4, PNG, and JPG.
  • Easily restores missing or corrupted picture thumbnails for a seamless Windows experience.
  • Fixes damaged videos, photos, and Word and Excel documents with various issues.
  • Intuitive and user-friendly software for hassle-free file and photo repair, even for beginners.
  • Addresses various damage levels, from minor glitches to severe file corruption, ensuring complete restoration.

Here are the steps to fix the corrupted pictures:

Step 1. Launch Fixo on your computer. You can choose "Photo Repair" to repair photos that cannot be opened, partially missing, etc. Click "Add Photos" to select corrupted photos.

add photos to repair images with Fixo

Step 2. You can repair multiple photos at once by clicking the "Repair All" button. If you want to repair one photo, move your pointer to the target photo and choose "Repair".

select photos to repair

Step 3. You can click on the eye icon to preview the photos and click "Save" to save a selected photo. Choose "Save All" to save all the repaired images. Click "View Repaired" to locate the repaired folder.

save repaired photos in Fixo

Moreover, share this page on your social media platforms to help others overcome this common digital frustration and discover the ease of using EaseUS Fixo Photo Repair.


2. Restore Windows File Explorer Options to Default

If you want to restore the default settings for File Explorer options in Windows to make thumbnails appear again, follow these steps:

Step 1. In the Start Menu search box, type File Explorer Options and select it from the search results.

Step 2. Click on the "View" tab in the File Explorer Options window.

Step 3. Locate and click the "Restore Defaults" button.

click restore defaults

Step 4. After that, click the "Apply" button and "OK" to save these changes.

3. Check If the Thumbnails Preview Are Disabled

You must check if the thumbnails are enabled or not by following these easy steps:

Step 1. Open the "File Explorer Options" window.

Step 2. Go to the "View" tab in the window that appears.

Step 3. Ensure the box next to "Always show icons, never thumbnails" is NOT checked.

Step 4. Click the "Apply" button and then "OK" to save this change.

Windows Photo Viewer Can't Display

Windows Photo Viewer Can't Display This Picture

How do you fix Windows Photo Viewer can't display this picture error on your Windows 10 computer? Read more >>

4. Clear the Disk's Cache in Windows

Windows uses a special storage called a thumbnail cache to show small picture previews. Sometimes, this cache can get messed up, and you can't see these previews. To make them work again, you can reset this disk's cache by doing these things:

Step 1. Open "File Explorer" and right-click on the "C" drive. Choose "Properties".

Step 2. Select "Disk Cleanup".

Step 3. Select Thumbnails from the list in the window that appears and then click "OK".

select ok

5. Run the DISM Tool

If you still have problems with your image thumbnails even after using the SFC scan, you can try using the DISM Tool. Here's how you can use it:

Step 1. Search Command Prompt and then choose"Run as administrator".

choose run as administrator

Step 3. Now, enter the given commands one by one:

  • DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Scanhealth
  • DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

Step 4. After running these commands, type "Exit" and press Enter. Avoid interrupting it during the time it takes.

6. Run an SFC Scan

The SFC scan is a valuable tool for fixing system file issues that may be causing problems like missing picture thumbnails in Windows. To do this:

Step 1. Search for Command Prompt and select "Run as administrator" by right-clicking on it.

Step 2. Type sfc/scannow and press "Enter".

type sfc scan now

Step 3. Wait patiently while the scan process runs; it may take some time.

Step 4. Once the scan is complete, check to see if the issue of thumbnails not showing has been resolved in Windows.

7. Update Windows

If no method is working, you must try updating Windows. To address this problem and restore your picture thumbnails, you can follow these steps:

Step 1. Access the "Start" menu and select "Settings".

Step 2. Go to "Windows Update".

Step 3. Click "Check for updates" to search for and install any available updates.

click check for updates

To Sum Up

In conclusion, resolving the issue of thumbnails not showing in Windows is essential for a smoother and more efficient digital experience. When you rely on visual cues to quickly locate and access your essential images, the absence of picture thumbnails can disrupt your workflow and lead to unnecessary inconvenience.

To address this problem and restore those valuable thumbnails, EaseUS Fixo Photo Repair proves to be a reliable and user-friendly solution. It not only fixes the thumbnail issue but also offers versatile file repair capabilities, mending corrupted videos, photos, and documents in various formats. So, don't let missing thumbnails hold you back – let EaseUS Fixo Photo Repair bring them back to life.

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Thumbnails Not Showing FAQs

Now, let's have a look at some common questions related to this issue:

1. Why are my thumbnails not showing up?

Thumbnails may not show up due to corrupt cache files, incorrect display settings, or issues with the file format. Try clearing the thumbnail cache or adjusting folder settings.

2. How do I fix thumbnails not showing in Windows 10?

To address thumbnail issues in Windows 10, open File Explorer and ensure Show thumbnails are enabled in the View tab. Next, clear the thumbnail cache using Disk Cleanup by selecting your system drive and checking Thumbnails. Also, ensure your files are in compatible formats like JPEG. These steps should help fix any thumbnail problems.

3. Why is YouTube not showing thumbnails?

YouTube may not display thumbnails due to slow internet connections, browser issues, or YouTube server problems. Try refreshing the page, clearing your browser cache, or checking your internet connection to fix this. If it persists, it may be a temporary YouTube issue.

4. How do you get thumbnails to show pictures?

To get thumbnails to show pictures, ensure your image files are in a supported format like JPEG or PNG. Thumbnails are usually generated automatically by operating systems or software, so there's typically no need for manual intervention. Check your system settings and file associations if they still don't appear.

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About the Author

author Jaden


Jaden is one of the editors of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. She focuses on topics concerning PCs and Mac data recovery. Jaden is committed to enhancing professional IT knowledge and writing abilities. She is always keen on new and intelligent products.

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