Thursday, May 5, 2011


Refresh Thumbnails In Windows 7

If you are working with pictures in Windows XP, and when we change a picture file in Windows XP, we could go to the folder containing the file and right click on the thumbnail and then clicking the 'Refresh thumbnails' option will refresh the thumbnails.

However, Windows 7 doesn’t seem to have this option. We have to temporarily refresh a thumbnail. If we change the thumbnail size from large to extra large for example, the thumbnail Is refreshed but if we change back to 'large', close and re-open the folder, the old thumbnail is back. So that will make you to have lots of pictures with out-of-date thumbnails.


  • 1. Go to Start, type folder options into the Search box and then press Enter.
  • 2. On the View tab, uncheck "Always show icons, never thumbnails".
  • 3. Click Apply and then click OK.
  • 4. Go to Start, type folder options into the Search box and then press Enter.
  • 5. On the View tab, check "Always show icons, never thumbnails".
  • 6. Click Apply and then click OK.

Please see if the issue can be resolved now.

In addition, it is recommended cleaning up cookies, temporary internet files and temp files. You can use Disk Cleanup to do this. (There is a "Thumbnails" option in Disk Cleanup and you can check it to clean it up.)

Steps Involved To Perform Disk Cleanup:

  • 1. Go to Start, type Disk Cleanup in to the Search box and then press Enter.
  • 2. Check "Temporary Internet Files", "Thumbnails", "Temporary files", and then click OK.
  • 3. Click "Delete Files" button.

Solution 2:

I was going to suggest trying to find the thumbs.db file, but the thumbnail caching process appears to have been reworked in Windows 7.

From what I can see, thumbcache*.db database files are now stored in this folder:


This seems to imply all thumbnails for all images in all folders are stored in central files now, organized by thumbnail size, so deleting a file to cause the regeneration of thumbnails in a particular folder is no longer an option.  However, you can delete all the stored thumbnails through the Disk Cleanup function.

If the problem still continues, try to create a new user account and see if the issue occurs.


About bench3 -

Haja Peer Mohamed H, Software Engineer by profession, Author, Founder and CEO of "bench3" you can connect with me on Twitter , Facebook and also onGoogle+

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Write comments
May 5, 2011 at 3:06 PM delete

For a single picture file, I did this:

Do a copy of the original image file.

Delete the original file.

The new copy has the correct thumbnail image.