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How to Get Thumbnail View of Commonly Using FileTypes in Windows Explorer

Updated on March 24, 2014

How to enable thumbnail view in Windows Explorer:

By default, thumbnail views of image files (.jpg, .png, .bmp) are enabled in Windows Explorer. Make sure if you have selected the "Large Icons" or "Extra Large Icons" view in folders. If you are not seeing the thumbnails please follow the below steps:

Step 1: Folder & Search Options

Open your folder. Click Organize > Folder and search options. Click on the View tab. Uncheck "Always show icons, never thumbnails" and click Apply. Refresh the folder and check the status.

Folder & search options in windows 7
Folder & search options in windows 7

Step 2: Visual Effects

Right click 'My Computer' and select 'Properties'. Click 'Advanced system settings'. Now click on Settings below 'Performance'. Please have a look at the below screenshot.

Advanced System Settings: Performance
Advanced System Settings: Performance

Select the 'Visual Effects' tab, Put a check mark for "show thumbnails instead of icons" and click Apply. Hope you have got the thumbnails.

Visual Effects
Visual Effects

How to get video thumbnails:

You may need to install Codecs in order to get thumbnail previews of video files. The K-Lite Codec Pack is one of the good plug-ins that allow you view thumbnails of almost all the video files.

How to get thumbnails of Adobe Photoshop Documents:

Would you like to see the thumbnails of .psd files in Windows Explorer? With Ardfry PSD Codec you can see the thumbnails of .psd, .psb, .pdd, .eps and .ai files. The supported Operating Systems are Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP (32 bit and 64 bit Windows).

How to get thumbnails of Portable Document Format:

I have read in a forum that some people are worried about not getting thumbnail previews of .pdf files even though they have programs like Adobe Reader or Foxit Reader is installed on their computer. Even I was also facing the same problem. After a search in Google, I came to know about a program called PDF-XChange Viewer. When you download PDF-XChange Viewer, you will also get the Shell Extension for viewing thumbnails in Windows Explorer.

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