Show Or Hide Thumbnail Previews in File Explorer

How can I Enable Thumbnail Previews in Windows 11?

Show Or Hide Thumbnail Previews in File Explorer

The File Explorer thumbnail feature is handy when your files have random or arbitrary names. But, by default, File Explorer on Windows 11 displays files, folders, and images as a list. The thumbnail preview helps you understand what that file is without first opening it. There are 3 simple ways on how to add or remove thumbnail previews Windows 11.

How to Enable Or Disable Thumbnail Previews in File Explorer in Windows 11

Open the File Explorer, and then click on the three-dots icon at the top menu and select Options.

Thumbnail Previews in File Explorer

In the Folder Options window, go to the “View” tab. And uncheck (On – default) the “Always show icons, never thumbnails” checkbox to show thumbnail previews , and click on OK to save the change.

Always show icons, never thumbnails

When you’re done with the above steps, in File Explorer, click on View in the toolbar and select Medium icons, Large icons, or Extra large icons. Now, you should see the thumbnail previews Windows 11 is enabled or disabled.

Thumbnail Previews View

Change registry to enable or disable thumbnail previews

Press the ‘Windows key + R’ to open the ‘Run’ dialog. And type “regedit” and press ” Enter”.

Navigate to the below path:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\folder

On the right side of the Window, search for ‘IconsOnly’ and double-click on it.

Type “0” in the Edit Value field to enable thumbnail previews.
Type “1” in the Edit Value field to disable thumbnail previews.

registry to enable or disable thumbnail previews

Click ‘Ok’ to save changes.

Use Visual Effects Settings to enable or disable thumbnail previews

Press the Windows + R key combo to open the Run Dialog Box. Type “SystemPropertiesPerformance.exe” and click OK. Select Visual Effects tab.

Use Visual Effects Settings

And “show thumbnails instead of icons” check or uncheck the box , click Apply and then click OK.

That’s all.



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