My Pictures Folder Not Showing Thumbnails

Don’t you just hate it when you go to your pictures folder or library and your picture folder is not showing thumbnail previews? This means your picture folder becomes very confusing and not being able to see the thumbnail previews for your pictures makes it extremely hard to find anything at all.

Here is a screenshot of my picture folder when the thumbnail pictures are not showing. I have Windows live Photo Gallery installed as the main picture editing program so this is the icon you can see. But I want to see a mini preview of my actual pictures.
thumbnail not showing in picture folder

How to show thumbnail previews in Windows

To show thumbnails in my pictures folder is the same process for Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows Seven. It is all done by accessing the Folder Options, the same place you go to show hidden files. Just a slightly different path to get there.

Windows Seven:

1. Open your picture folder by choosing pictures from the start menu.

2. You will see a menu at the top. Click on organize.

3. From this menu choose Folder and search options. See the screenshot below.

no thumbnail

4. Folder Options will open. Go to the view tab.

5. Untick the option that says “always show icons, never thumbnails“. See the screenshot below.

no thumbnail 2

6. Now simply press apply. My changes were instant but some computers might need to restart to see a difference. See the screenshot below of the same pictures in my picture folder.

show thumbnail pictures

Show thumbnails in Vista:

To actually see a menu in Windows vista that will let you access these options you might need to press on the ALT key. When you can see the menu, you can follow the instructions below.

Windows XP:

  1. Go to the Start menu at the bottom left corner.
  2. Choose My Computer.
  3. Go to the menu at the top and choose Tools, then choose Folder options.
  4. Choose View from the tabs at the top.
  5. Untick the option that says “always show icons, never thumbnails“. See the screenshot below.

See more about folder options in Windows XP.


  1. Mukesh says

    Your is very helpful for me , I WAS USING MY COMPUTER like without thumbnails for almost 2 years, now I m very very happy to c the pics again because of u only, thanks a lot man.

  2. says

    It’s a great collection of tips again. Actually, I don’t mind that matter since so far I did not experience that kind of issue. But, I realize this is important to have a knowledge about this thing just in case of problems like this one.

  3. says

    I remember having a problem like this a ways back, but I forget what I did to fix it. So if it ever happens again, it’s nice to have these “how to do” guides around to help out.

  4. says

    Nice tutorial. However, i think showing pictures instead of icons take up more RAM just like other eye-candy features available on Windows Vista and Windows 7.