The File Explorer (popularly known as Windows Explorer) in Windows 10 offers a total of eight views: extra large icons, large icons, small icons, tiles, list, content, medium icons and details. One can easily switch between these views by clicking the View tab and then clicking on a view.
When the File Explorer’s view is set to extra large icons, large icons, medium icons, details or tiles view, the File Explorer displays thumbnail previews of pictures and videos so that users can easily find files they are looking for.
Many users who are on Windows 10 are reporting that Windows 10 File Explorer doesn’t display thumbnail previews for pictures and videos.
If File Explorer is not showing thumbnail previews for videos or photos in Windows 10, try out the following solutions.
Solution 1 of 4
Check if thumbnail preview supported view is turned on
Before doing anything else, make sure that you have turned on the thumbnail preview supported view for the folder where you have your videos or photos. Note that every folder can have its own view setting, and when you change the view, it won’t be applied to all the folders on your PC.
To turn on thumbnail preview supported view, click on the View tab, and then click on one of the following views:
# Extra large icons
# Large icons
# Medium icons
All the above mentioned views support thumbnail previews. Select on one of the above mentioned views to turn on thumbnail view.
Solution 2 of 4
Check if thumbnails are disabled
Even if the thumbnail preview supported view is turned on for a particular folder, thumbnails for files won’t be displayed if the File Explorer is configured to show icons instead of thumbnails. When thumbnails are turned off, the File Explorer displays icons of the default program for the file type instead of the thumbnail preview.
Here is how to turn on Thumbnails in Windows 10:
Step 1: Open up File Explorer. Click the File menu and then click Change folder and search options to open Folder Options. If a file is selected in the particular folder, you might see just Options instead of Change folder and search options. Clicking Options will also open Folder Options.
Step 2: Switch to the View tab. Under Advanced settings section, uncheck the option labelled Always show icons, never thumbnails, and then click Apply button to enable thumbnails in Windows Explorer.
Solution 3 of 4
Clear thumbnail cache
If the File Explorer is displaying blurry thumbnails for one or more files, it could be because of the corrupted thumbnail cache. You can clear and reset the thumbnail cache with a few mouse clicks by following the instructions in our how to clear and reset the thumbnail cache in Windows 10 guide.
Solution 4 of 4
Install a third-party thumbnail generator
As some of you likely know, Windows Explorer or File Explorer doesn’t support thumbnail view feature for all file types. While most of the popular video and image file types are supported, icons are displayed instead of thumbnails for many file types.
If you prefer to get thumbnail preview for all video and image file types, you need to install a free program called Icaros. The program adds thumbnail support for over 15 file types.