Windows 11 How to display thumbnails of image/video file icons

To display thumbnails of image and video file icons in Windows 11, change the icon display format and enable thumbnail display settings in Folder Options. If you cannot display thumbnails, reset the settings or delete the thumbnail cache. This page introduces settings for displaying file icons as thumbnails and what to do when they cannot be displayed.
See the following page for the preview window that can display the contents of files other than images and videos.
Display file icons as thumbnails

To make thumbnails of image and video file icons thumbnails, you need to check two settings, such as changing the icon size in Explorer and enabling the display of thumbnails in Folder Options.

1. Changed icon display format

1-1. Click “View” in the top menu of Explorer.
 1-2. Since the icon size and display format are displayed, click the one that can be reduced.

A display format that allows thumbnail images of image and video file icons

  • oversized icon
  • large icon
  • middle icon
  • Tile
  • content

2. Enable Thumbnail Display of File Icons

2-1. Click “Options” in the menu that clicks the ”  ” menu button in Explorer .
 2-2. When Folder Options appears, click the View tab.
 2-3. Check and enable “Show file icons in thumbnails”.

  • If “Always show icons, never thumbnails” is enabled , remove the check mark to disable it.
  • To enable thumbnail view for all folders for image and video files , click ” Apply to folders ” in the folder view at the top.

When you have finished enabling thumbnails, click OK to close Folder Options and complete thumbnail display settings.


File Icons Can’t Be Displayed in Thumbnails

If the file icon cannot be displayed in reduced size, reset the thumbnail display settings, delete the cache, and check and repair the Windows 11 system.

Restart thumbnailed explorer

It’s possible that something is wrong with Explorer, so first try restarting File Explorer. Start Task Manager
Right-click the Start button and click “Task Manager” in the menu.
With Ver.22H2, you can start the task manager by right-clicking on the taskbar.
If the task manager is “simple display” as shown below, click “Details (D)” at the bottom left to switch to the detailed screen.

Perform thumbnail explorer restart

The Explorer screen differs depending on the version, so it is explained separately. Restart Explorer with Ver.22H2

  • On the “Processes” screen, click “Explorer” to select it.
  • Click “Restart Task” at the top of the screen to restart Explorer.

 Restart Explorer with Ver.22H1

  • On the “Processes” screen, click “Explorer” to select it.
  • Click “Restart” at the bottom right of the screen to restart Explorer.

 If the icon of the file is not reduced even after restarting Explorer, proceed to the next section.

Delete Thumbnail Cache

1. Click the Start button and click Settings in Start.
 2. Click Storage under the System item.
 3. When Storage appears, click Temporary Files.
 4. Make sure “Thumbnails” is selected and click “Delete Files”.
A storage cache is a temporary storage file. Look at the other contents and deselect any that you don’t want to remove.5. After deleting the cache, restart Explorer as described above and check if you can zoom out.

Reset Thumbnail Settings

1. Click “Options” in the menu that clicks the ”  ” menu button in Explorer .
 2. When Folder Options appears, click the View tab.
 3.Resetting Enable Thumbnails Settings

  • Uncheck “Show file icons in thumbnails” to disable it.
  • Check and enable “Always show icons, never thumbnails”.
  • Click Apply to Folders.

When you have finished choosing Enable Reset, click OK to close Folder Options and restart your computer . 4. After restarting the PC, enable the thumbnail display in the folder options again and check if the thumbnail display is displayed.
Check and repair system files

If you have problems such as corrupted system files in Windows 11, it will also affect the thumbnail view of Explorer. By running the System File Checker command, you can check your system and automatically repair any problems it finds. Start Command Prompt

  • After pressing the “Windows” key on your keyboard, press ” cmd “.
  • When the search screen appears, click “Run as administrator” in Command Prompt.

*This operation is the same as entering “cmd” in the search. 

From the Start menu
To start from the Start menu, click “All apps” and click “Windows Tools” in the list to open Explorer, right-click “Command Prompt” and select “Run as administrator” “Click.

Type sfc /scan now and press Enter on your keyboard.
It will start checking and repairing system files. It may take some time, but wait until it finishes. If you see “…no integrity violations found.” or “…repaired successfully.”, the system check is complete.

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