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Thumbnail Cache Randomly Deleting and Recreating

    Question

  • I have a ton of photos on the computer and having to wait for the thumbnails to cache is a pain, in fact, the only pain so far with windows 7.  I'm just wondering if anybody else is having this problem where the thumbnail cache spontaneously deletes itself and then all the thumbnails have to cache again.  This happens at least once a day.  Is there something that I'm doing to cause this?  Any help is much appreciated.  Thank you
    Wednesday, May 13, 2009 5:02 AM

Answers

  • At last I have found a fix for this problem. It's has been over a week now and the thumbnails have not been deleted and I have not had any other related problems.

    This is the fix.

    Right click on the folder which maintains the Thumbnails cache, here:

    Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer" (where {username} is replaced by the name of the windows user, for example Neil for me)
    Click Properties
    Click Security
    Click Advanced
    Click change permissions
    Listed are all the users who are allowed to use this folder (I have "System", "Administrator" and my user "Neil". For each user:
    Click Edit
    Under the "Apply to" drop down list, select: this folder and files
    Check the box under deny for: Delete subfolders and files
    Check the box under deny for: Delete
    Click OK

    This stops any users or the system being allowed to delete the thumbnails cache files. Problem solved.

    Note: this does also stop the thumbnails being deleted when using disc cleanup!
    Tuesday, November 03, 2009 4:40 PM

All replies

  • I totally agree. I even tried to save cache (stored in user/%user/appdata/microsoft/windows/explorer), created a small procedure to restore the cache once deleted (need to shutdown explorer process), works like a charm, but now i'm fed up to do this process every week.

    Win seven development team really need to see why this cache disapears.
    • Proposed as answer by filipt Tuesday, August 30, 2011 9:41 AM
    Thursday, June 18, 2009 5:40 PM
  • wow, after all these months of wondering if I'm the only person that's experiencing this, it's nice that somebody else has the same problem.  well, not nice...  well, you know what I mean.  What's this small procedure that you do to restore the cache?  At this point I'd be thrilled to only have to rebuild the cache once a week!
    Friday, June 19, 2009 5:20 AM
  • I'm having the same problem with win7 x64. It seems every time I add or remove anything to the library the whole thumbnail cache is deleted and has to be re cached which takes an age. Please can some offer a fix? Thanks.
    Thursday, October 22, 2009 9:15 PM
  • I can't believe that Windows 7 has such bad bug. At least 4 times today the thumbnails have been randomly deleted and recreated, this includes all the Video, Picture and music thumbnails. I can't find any way to stop this happening. Even Vista did not ever have this problem!

    Friday, October 23, 2009 4:33 PM
  • Same to me. I have a big collections of pdf books and the thumbnail cache is self-deleting anytime. No answer for this problem  yet.
    My Win 7 It is no beta, and I love it. It is the only problem I have with win 7.


    Monday, November 02, 2009 3:13 AM
  • What's up with microsoft?  After surfing the web looking for a answer for this problem I find lot of people with the same problem and nobody has the answer. How many time I will wait for a fix?
    Monday, November 02, 2009 10:24 PM
  • Possible HDD related. If the Windows boot disk is low on space I think it will automatically deletes things like the thumbnail cache to save space.
    Monday, November 02, 2009 11:17 PM
  • I think 170 Mg. free is enough
    Tuesday, November 03, 2009 2:59 AM
  • I agree with ezunino......i think microsoft should fix this problem.....I really hate this bug....i never encountered this in windows vista....
    Tuesday, November 03, 2009 3:07 PM
  • I hope...that microsoft will solve this problem....as soon as possible...





    OS: Genuine Windows 7 Professional RTM
    MB: ECS GF7050VT-M5
    RAM: 2GB KINGSTON
    CPU: Intel E5200 @ 2.5ghz
    HD: Seagate 250gb SATA
    Vcard: Nvidia Geforce 9800gt
    PSU: Gigabyte 550W
    OP DRIVE: LG DVD-RW SATA



    ALL DRIVERS are updated....



    I really love windows 7....they sould fix this problem..
    Tuesday, November 03, 2009 3:17 PM
  • At last I have found a fix for this problem. It's has been over a week now and the thumbnails have not been deleted and I have not had any other related problems.

    This is the fix.

    Right click on the folder which maintains the Thumbnails cache, here:

    Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer" (where {username} is replaced by the name of the windows user, for example Neil for me)
    Click Properties
    Click Security
    Click Advanced
    Click change permissions
    Listed are all the users who are allowed to use this folder (I have "System", "Administrator" and my user "Neil". For each user:
    Click Edit
    Under the "Apply to" drop down list, select: this folder and files
    Check the box under deny for: Delete subfolders and files
    Check the box under deny for: Delete
    Click OK

    This stops any users or the system being allowed to delete the thumbnails cache files. Problem solved.

    Note: this does also stop the thumbnails being deleted when using disc cleanup!
    Tuesday, November 03, 2009 4:40 PM
  • Interesting workaround, I'm surprised no one (including me) thought of it earlier. I won't be near my PC for a while so I can't see how this works out but thanks Neil.
    Tuesday, November 03, 2009 8:49 PM
  • Thx for the help....Stormneil...it works like a charm for me...
    Wednesday, November 04, 2009 1:23 PM
  • Great work, but is not the solution. Should Win 7 manage the cache in this way? I think is a provisional solution, but no the SOLUTION of the problem. In my case, after some time I burn the files on a DVD, but with this solution I can't refresh the cache.
    Sunday, November 08, 2009 2:45 PM
  • Does not work for me, I have a "tremendous" amount of Images/Videos and even with the method above - my thumbcache_256.db won't grow over about ~50.0MB before it seems to trim existing thumbs and generate the new ones. There has to be a way to up the size of .db, this is ridiculous. This Breaks Windows 7 as far as I'm concerned.
    Sunday, January 17, 2010 12:04 AM
  • I am also getting this, before all my files can be successfully thumbed a folder "ThumbCacheToDelete" gets created in Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer with five temp files, thm27CA.tmp, thm27CB.tmp, thm27C7.tmp, thm27C8.tmp, and thm27C9.tmp, then all the thumbs start disappearing and getting recreated. I tried cleaning up just about everything I could think which might have been causing it- one thing I noticed was a lot of the folders I had imported from XP had a hidden folder.jpg and Thumbs.db in each folder so I got rid of those, but I still get the problem (this is under Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit).
    Thursday, January 21, 2010 8:02 PM
  • I also have this problem running Win 7 Build 7100. I've applied your solution. I hope it works. Only time will tell. Thank you.
    It is the responsibility and duty of everyone to help the underprivileged and unfortunate among us.
    Friday, January 22, 2010 1:56 AM
  • Sorry I forgot to mention I did try the fix suggested by Stormneil, and the thumbs initially did seem to stay around for longer but in a few days they all started getting recreated again.
    Friday, January 22, 2010 1:26 PM
  • OK, all my thumbnails had gone again after booting up this morning- please fix this problem MS!!
    Saturday, January 23, 2010 1:58 PM
  • OK, I tried to rebuild my thumbnails again this afternoon, but the "ThumbCacheToDelete" folder got recreated and again all the thumbs have now deleted.
    Saturday, January 23, 2010 5:10 PM
  • I suffered from this  isuue eveyday my thumbnails gone suddenly I was thinking Iam only one I delete every programe and software in my pc to see which one cause it but problem remains I do nothing with windows 7 except return my thumbnails back  I sent to microsoft no solution may be no one believe me
    Saturday, January 23, 2010 7:21 PM
  • where i begin these steps please in windows 7 I want to give it a try
    Saturday, January 23, 2010 7:39 PM
  • Hi,
    Allow me this (maybe stupid) question.

    Do you run "Disk Cleanup" now and then ?
    Just know that it cleans the cache if you do not unselect it before you start the cleanup.
    Regards Picsoe
    Saturday, January 23, 2010 9:46 PM
  • no i never run a disk cleanup or have any clean softwares its a problem in windows 7
    Saturday, January 23, 2010 9:48 PM
  • OK I just wanted to add my 2cts because I have had the proplem until I figured out that "Disk Cleanup" (a Windows System Accessory) was the culprit.
    Regards Picsoe
    Saturday, January 23, 2010 9:56 PM
  • so what you did to solve this problem
    Saturday, January 23, 2010 9:58 PM
  • Each time I start "Disk Cleanup", I make sure that "Thumbnails" are not selected before I start the actual cleanup.
    Make sure that Disk Cleanup is not taken up in the "Task Scheduler".

    It can also happen when you run CCleaner because it also cleans the Thumbnail-cache by default (it should be unselected).

    It are Just a couple of guesses.
    I hope that this info can be of any help to solve your problem.
    Regards Picsoe
    Saturday, January 23, 2010 10:13 PM
  • I'm not sure disk cleanup can be the cause of my problem unless it is running without me knowing, my thumbs have now deleted themselves for the third time today! This time the 5 tmp files in the "ThumbCacheToDelete" folder are slightly different: thm9D3A.tmp, thm9D3B.tmp etc..
    Saturday, January 23, 2010 10:28 PM
  • OK this afternoon in an attempt to find the cause, I tried to get as many folders as possible thumbed and got thumbcache_96.db up to 459MB at which point it didn't seem to increase even though I indexed more files; shortly after, the "ThumbCacheToDelete" folder appeared and all the db folders had been transferred into it as tmp files. The original thumbcache_96.db had been created at 16:46 and the replacement thumbcache_96.db was created at 17:34, less than an hour later so it doesn't look like any scheduled task is doing this, something is triggering it, but what!
    Sunday, January 24, 2010 5:49 PM
  • Is there a way to report this problem to Microsoft?  I have a lot of photos on my laptop and this is very annoying.
    Monday, January 25, 2010 11:46 PM
  • Is there a way to report this problem to Microsoft?  I have a lot of photos on my laptop and this is very annoying.

    No senior posters/moderators have posted on this thread, it would be nice to have some of their input on this issue. I did a clean install to try and isolate the cause of this problem, only installing Microsoft Security Essentials and Live Mail as extras, yet the problem still occurred- this suggests that it is something about the files on my system, perhaps that they were imported from a legacy operating system, i.e. Windows XP/Windows 98, that causes the W7 thumb caching to malfunction?
    Wednesday, January 27, 2010 9:11 PM
  • It is rather disappointing there is no response on this- I presume because it is a known problem without a user enabled fix/and/or MS are working on the problem?
    Saturday, January 30, 2010 5:07 PM
  • i also have this issue reported here. but Stormneil's post seems to have fixed it for me to. (i rebooted a few times since then and it's still going strong ;) )

    either way though MS needs a PROPER fix for this fairly massive bug as when you got folders with a lot of pictures in each folder and every time it re-creates the thumbnail cache that burns up a lot of time and it's very annoying.

    p.s. luckily i found this post as i was beginning to think it was hopeless that there would never be any sort of fix as people seem to have this bug but there don't seem to be a lot of reports on it.
    Tuesday, February 02, 2010 8:02 PM
  • I also wonder if this thread is getting attention of some MS persons.  I don't mind to wait or apply some "hack" but at least I hope it can get into the coming SP1.

    So far this is the only Win 7 bug that really ____ me off!
    Tuesday, February 02, 2010 8:11 PM
  • I am wondering if this is something to do with the Search indexing service- I seem to have these processes eating up a lot of CPU time, specifically the SearchProtocolHost.exe and SearchFilterHost.exe. I cannot think why these should still be running as I have not created many new files that should take so long to index- perhaps the whole search index is being deleted along with the thumbcache? MS really need to do something about this as it is not just an annoyance but a massive waste of energy with what must be thousands of people with this problem, and a particularly serious problem for laptop/netbook users.

    I found this thread on sevenforums with the exact same issue and similar fix:
    http://www.sevenforums.com/general-discussion/13956-whats-up-my-thumbcache-disappearing.html
    Wednesday, February 03, 2010 5:00 PM
  • I have heard from reputable sources that this "bug" isn't really a bug, but an "undocumented feature" of windows 7 which was put there to discourage the use of icon/thumbnail view and make people use detailed list view.

    The strange thing is that in this MS OS that I installed a few months ago the file manager doesn't seem to have this "undocumented feature";)
    Thursday, February 04, 2010 3:47 AM
  • I have NO thumbnails for pdf on Windows 7 - 64bit (Acrobat 9.1), even if applied patch so I can see now the title page of each file separately in the right pane.
    Thursday, February 11, 2010 2:10 PM
  • It still doesnt work i waited it for 2 week and test out
    it still delete my thumbnail after a week

    After follow the step i still get my thumbnail deleted T.T
    Thursday, February 11, 2010 3:32 PM
  • Brillant Fix. Has sped up my computer dramatically.
    I am just bemused that W7 would have a feature that actually SLOWS things down quite a bit.. I really miss Vista at times.. W7 is good, but it has some odd misgivings.
    Saturday, February 13, 2010 9:56 PM
  • The fix does not actually prevent deletion of thumbnails, it merely stops all thumbnails being deleted at once. The thumbcachetodelete folder is still created, and the explorer process tries repeatedly to transfer the data from the thumbcache files to the tmp files, but it fails and keeps on creating tmp files until you remove the 'Delete' restrictions suggested by Stormneil.
    Thursday, February 25, 2010 8:03 PM
  • Anything new come of this? I noticed Windows Live Photo Gallery allows the thumbcache_1024 file to grow, mine is over 2GB but the thumbcache_96 file is maxed at 449MB.

    This is one incredibly annoyance of 7 when dealing with tons of photos. Makes the system seem so slow but works great! up until you reach 449MB. Wow! That is amazing experience to have your thumbs instantly pop up for you. 

    Sunday, December 05, 2010 7:07 PM
  • Removing the delete permissions seem to be working, but thats a bad fix for something like this. 

    Btw, not sure if its related to this, but I am also seeing the application icons being refreshed far more than I would wish (if I open the start menu after a while, I can see windows generating the icons).

    This thread is over 1.5 years old for such a bad problem. I hope m$ fixes this soon...

    Tuesday, February 08, 2011 9:45 AM
  • When this annoying bug will be finally fixed ?

    It's nearly 2 years after reporting it...

    Wednesday, February 16, 2011 3:20 PM
  • Still happens with installed SP1.

    Programmers know about this bug ? If not, where I can report it ?

    Because I see that this thread is ignored by Microsoft support here.

    Thursday, February 24, 2011 11:38 PM
  • bumping
    Tuesday, March 01, 2011 6:14 PM
  • bump, no plans for fixing this in Windows 7 ?
    So how about Windows 8 ?

    Any plans ?!

    Monday, March 07, 2011 9:04 PM
  • Montain, for me the thumbcache_256.db file also seems to reach a maximum size of 449 Mb, even after try to index more files! Windows must be deleting thumbnails  so that the file size doesn't go above 449Mb. I have tried all the suggested fixes, including denying the system permission to delete the explorer folder, bur Win 7 keeps deleting the thumbnails. Very annoying - I have thousands of PDF books and the thumbnails last much longer than a JPG thumbnail to be created. 

    sometimes, I lose all my thumbnails, even though I never use disk cleanup. 

    AFTER I lose all my thumbs, I do use disk cleanup! I cleanup the thumbs and this allows me to restore the Thumbs.db files to previous versions using the files from a restore point. A pretty desperate, partial "fix".

    Friday, March 11, 2011 2:37 AM
  • Exactly... and still no answer from support... I am playing for it and get nothing... funny...
    Friday, March 11, 2011 9:59 AM
  • If you go to Search Forums at the top of this page and type in Thumbnail Cache, a list of related topics will appear. And you will notice that our thread is the most viewed. However, Microsoft proudly states "Answered Question" with a green check mark! Hey Microsoft...Hello!

    I tried to find some software that could do the trick of increasing the thumbnail cache size, but so far nothing worked.

    I even tried to find a Windows Explorer substitute, but trust me on this, none of them is worth your time.

    Windows Explorer is great. It just can't be used to its full potential. 

    Microsoft is like one of those unreachable characters from Kafka's books. And this is so frustrating.

    Friday, March 11, 2011 9:17 PM
  • I waited and waited and kept using xp because I need to get things done and it actually (mostly) worked for me. I even skipped Vista. I thought..whoopee, win7 is here and it'll be clear sailing. So for months now I've been suffering with thumbnails having to be recreated every time I open a folder. Not a big deal for folders with hundreds of photos of a few megs each, but as a photographer, I have folders with hundreds of tiffs (100+ megs each) in dozens of folders and I've got to sit for half a minute recreating thumbs when I open one. Really? Seriously? At least I find out it's not my computer (I was thinking of reformatting) but I did have hopes for SP1. I guess not. It even happens when I plug in an external drive. Very very disappointed. I've been told by people in the computer biz that MS actually wants us to migrate away from using thumbs for anything. Doesn't make any sense to me to use details view for a folder of photos.
    Monday, March 14, 2011 10:35 PM
  • I have been facing this problem too on Windows 7 pro x64 SP1. I find it really annoying that those thumnails keep refreshing after a couple of days

    Sunday, May 15, 2011 2:36 AM
  • We need more control over options like this. I need an option to create/load thumbs.db files from within individual folders like on XP. I have thousands of images that I want to burn to discs and want to be able to load the thumbs off the disc so as not to spend 1/2 hr waiting for them to generate. Plus there should be a way to increase the thumb cache limit as I too am annoyed about the thumbs deleting.
    I can understand certain changes for non computer savvy people but you need OPTIONS for those who want to tailor the OS to their needs. This OS is bad for visual media.

    I guess they gotta make some annoyances in each iteration otherwise people will have no reason to upgrade. If this doesn't get fixed however, I will be looking at some of the ever growing free alternatives when that time comes.

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011 11:49 AM
  • We need more control over options like this. I need an option to create/load thumbs.db files from within individual folders like on XP. I have thousands of images that I want to burn to discs and want to be able to load the thumbs off the disc so as not to spend 1/2 hr waiting for them to generate. Plus there should be a way to increase the thumb cache limit as I too am annoyed about the thumbs deleting.
    I can understand certain changes for non computer savvy people but you need OPTIONS for those who want to tailor the OS to their needs. This OS is bad for visual media.

    I guess they gotta make some annoyances in each iteration otherwise people will have no reason to upgrade. If this doesn't get fixed however, I will be looking at some of the ever growing free alternatives when that time comes.

    You are not the only one to feel this way: Blarg the Troll May 27, 2011 at 1:35 pm # Until Microsoft figures out that upgrade means the new product must be better than the old one, they are lost. For example making emails render poorly in recent versions of outlook compared to previous ones. Offering new products that are a little better and a little worse than the old ones isn’t exactly going to breed excitement. How much do you want to bet that they are going to rename Skype to something like “MSN Skype” give it a goofy MS logo and destroy the brand they just paid so much to acquire. I think the next Skype with thank MS for creating a huge market for them. Reply * rezid3nt_tr0ll May 27, 2011 at 5:47 pm # You hit the nail on the head. Office 2007 and 2010 didn’t do anything for me that 2003 didn’t(and 2003 was still far from perfect). I also was recently migrated to Windows 7 at my job. It looks “prettier”, but that’s really it. The usability features aren’t all that great(not on par with Ubuntu usability anyways). They also moved a bunch of stuff around, and developed new ways of doing things that weren’t any better than the old ways(the old ways were dumb too, but atleast we all knew how to do them). from comments section: http://semiaccurate.com/2011/05/27/microsoft-under-siege-turnaround/
    Saturday, May 28, 2011 10:00 AM
  • If you log in as Chuck Norris then thumbnails will not be deleted... ever... :)
    Thursday, June 16, 2011 11:32 AM
  • You can disable thumbnails under folder options too.

     

    Thursday, June 16, 2011 5:58 PM
  • You can disable thumbnails under folder options too.

     

    This is the only real solution.. i wish i was back on xp now.
    Monday, August 15, 2011 8:45 AM
  • Like everyone else this has been driving me nuts, I've got literally zillions of images & videos that are god-awful to scan in Explorer without thumbnails, and most of those (RAW photos & videos) are ultra-slow to recreate.

    I think the reason the thumbs get wiped out is (as has been said) that there is a cache file size limit, and when that's hit Windows deletes them and starts again.  I did some monitoring & these keys seem to control the limits:

     

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/ThumbnailCache

      MaxCacheFileSize1024  (default: 5880 decimal)

      MaxCacheFileSize256  (default: 366 ")

      MaxCacheFileSize32  (default: 82 ")

      MaxCacheFileSize96  (default: 682 ")

     

    I've upped each one by 10x (remember to restart Explorer), let's hope it works ...

     

    EDIT: I'm no longer sure those default values are correct, I think I may have played with these before and forgot about it.  I also don't know if they're in bytes (unlikely), KB or MB - but even very large values are not enough to stop Windows wiping out the cache periodically.









    • Edited by a2B Tuesday, August 30, 2011 1:26 PM
    Saturday, August 20, 2011 7:34 PM
  • ... unfortunately it doesn't, I cached all my files in the Large Icon view (took hours), and my thumbcache_256.db file is now 214MB - but as soon as more thumbnails get created Windows wipes them all out again.  So either this is a hard-coded limit, or there are more registry keys involved.

    My system drive is running low (~4GB), but I've tried relocating the cache to another drive with more space, that works but they still get zapped.  The key to do that is:

      HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/ThumbnailCache/Location


    I also tried to set MinFreeSpace to 1 in case it was free-space detection that caused the wipeout, no luck.

    Explorer checks for a lot more keys, so maybe some of these may help?

      Location  (string, set to a full path to relocate the cache)

      MinFreeSpace
      MaxPercentageOfFreeSpaceForRebalancing
      ShrinkIfGreaterThanPercentageOfFreeSpace
      BalancedPercentage32
      BalancedPercentage96
      BalancedPercentage256
      BalancedPercentage1024
      MinCacheFilesSizesWhenShrinking32
      MinCacheFilesSizesWhenShrinking96
      MinCacheFilesSizesWhenShrinking256
      MinCacheFilesSizesWhenShrinking1024
      MaxCacheFileSize32
      MaxCacheFileSize96
      MaxCacheFileSize256
      MaxCacheFileSize1024
      MaxCacheFileSize256SlowReclaim
      MaxUnbalancedPercentage
      SlowReclaimMaxPercentageOfFreeSpaceForRebalancing
      SlowReclaimShrinkIfGreaterThanPercentageOfFreeSpace
      FastExtractThresholdInMS







    Monday, August 22, 2011 11:00 AM
  • I was still having this problem even after changing the folder permissions based on the "Answer" above.  However, I think I finally figured it out.  The problem was that all my photo thumbnails were being sorted by "Date Taken" descending.  When I changed this to "Name", which is the default I think, I no longer expericed the long delays while the thumbnails showed up.  So I'm not sure if it was actually a cache issue or just that Windows will always go through the list of files to try and re-sort (or something) by Date Taken or perhaps whatever other criteria you are using.  Just go with Name and see if that helps.
    Thursday, September 29, 2011 10:19 PM
  • Like everyone else this has been driving me nuts, I've got literally zillions of images & videos that are god-awful to scan in Explorer without thumbnails, and most of those (RAW photos & videos) are ultra-slow to recreate.

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/ThumbnailCache

      MaxCacheFileSize1024  (default: 5880 decimal)

      MaxCacheFileSize256  (default: 366 ")

      MaxCacheFileSize32  (default: 82 ")

      MaxCacheFileSize96  (default: 682 ")

     

    I've upped each one by 10x (remember to restart Explorer), let's hope it works ...


    Interesting, I do not even have this key? Can't believe Microsoft haven't fixed this yet, it must be a trivial thing to allow users to set their own max value. They are even passing off the problem as fixed when this 'fix' does not actually work! http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7itproui/thread/82f82ef8-caf7-49d0-96a7-611ce87eeba2

    I have simply given up on Windows Explorer to show photos now, Faststone Image Viewer does a much better job with many more features and all explorer functions included, just set your main pictures folders as favourites- right click "Add Folder to Favorites", and you're away. Most importantly, the thumbnails never get deleted and will automatically load by just clicking the folder, no need to scroll down as in Windows Explorer. Double click a file to view full screen, move mouse to left you have, all advanced file and draw functions, to right, file attributes, EXIF, histogram data, below simple draw functions, image zoom & navigation, mouse to top to get scroll bar to access all images in the folder & navigate to new folders or favorites, return to main program. You can customize many functions including thumbnails, mouse functions in settings.

    http://www.faststone.org/FSViewerDownload.htm
    I was still having this problem even after changing the folder permissions based on the "Answer" above.  However, I think I finally figured it out.  The problem was that all my photo thumbnails were being sorted by "Date Taken" descending.  When I changed this to "Name", which is the default I think, I no longer expericed the long delays while the thumbnails showed up.  So I'm not sure if it was actually a cache issue or just that Windows will always go through the list of files to try and re-sort (or something) by Date Taken or perhaps whatever other criteria you are using.  Just go with Name and see if that helps.
    There should no 'delay' in showing thumbnails, XP never had this problem, if you use Faststone Viewer as I recommend above, you'll never see any delays whatsoever after the thumbnails load the 1st time, and no disappearing thumbnails ever again.
    • Edited by montain Friday, October 28, 2011 10:12 PM
    Friday, October 28, 2011 9:44 PM
  • Interesting, I do not even have this key?

    That's right, most of those keys don't exist, but Explorer checks for them so you can create them & try different values. I haven't found anything that works yet. These hidden keys are usually advanced options that could be set (if you know exactly what they mean). But it's also possible they are leftovers from development, and don't do anything, or at least not what they were supposed to.
    Can't believe Microsoft haven't fixed this yet, it must be a trivial thing to allow users to set their own max value.
    Amen, we need a fix urgently. The big problem for me is videos and large Photoshop files - they take forever to rebuild. JPGs are so fast on my machine it wouldn't matter, but to do just a page of videos takes forever, and I have zillions of 'em :). Please also post on the thread you linked, so MS see this is a big issue (I also linked them here).
    Friday, October 28, 2011 10:57 PM
  • That's right, most of those keys don't exist, but Explorer checks for them so you can create them & try different values. I haven't found anything that works yet. These hidden keys are usually advanced options that could be set (if you know exactly what they mean). But it's also possible they are leftovers from development, and don't do anything, or at least not what they were supposed to.
    The MaxCacheFileSize32, 96, 256, 1024 look like the most likely don't they- where would you put these keys if you were to recreate them?
    Amen, we need a fix urgently. The big problem for me is videos and large Photoshop files - they take forever to rebuild. JPGs are so fast on my machine it wouldn't matter, but to do just a page of videos takes forever, and I have zillions of 'em :). Please also post on the thread you linked, so MS see this is a big issue (I also linked them here).
    Yes JPGs aren't as bad, but they still cause unnecessary power wastage everytime you have to rebuild them, fortunately I don't have that problem now for any image files as I use Faststone. Another issue, possibly related is that I persistently lose icons in my downloads folder, virtually everytime I go in they are rebuilt, why??
    Saturday, October 29, 2011 1:04 PM
  • The MaxCacheFileSize32, 96, 256, 1024 look like the most likely don't they- where would you put these keys if you were to recreate them?
    All the keys live in HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/ThumbnailCache
    Monday, October 31, 2011 7:04 PM
  • The MaxCacheFileSize32, 96, 256, 1024 look like the most likely don't they- where would you put these keys if you were to recreate them?
    All the keys live in HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/ThumbnailCache
    This page suggests using DWORD as the value with the number corresponding to MB? http://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=211440
    Saturday, November 05, 2011 2:19 PM
  • This page suggests using DWORD as the value with the number corresponding to MB? http://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=211440
    In fairness he's guessing, but MB seems the most likely. And all simple values are typically DWORDs (unless they're strings). BTW, there is a good reason why Windows will wipe out the cache periodically: I believe it never actually removes thumbnails, even when you delete the original files. That means that the cache can only grow, and at some point will be bloated with irrelevant thumbs. Instead of solving that problem, MS just wipe the cache and start again. It's a really bad solution. But even with how it works now, I'd like the option to just let it grow - rebuilding it is so painful on my system, it literally takes hours of manually opening & scrolling through folders. A workaround solution (without a full purge-only-deleted-files algorithm) would be to allow the user to set a rebuilding schedule, say once a month overnight, where the system would then also automatically thumbnail the entire system again. Right now it's just a mess ...
    • Edited by a2B Saturday, November 05, 2011 4:00 PM
    Saturday, November 05, 2011 3:58 PM
  • Bumping this because I am so angry about this issue and want an answer from Microsoft like *two years ago* when this issue was first brought up. There is no excuse for this continuing. You should definitely be able to control how big the thumbnail cache can get. I have try all mentioned "fixes" (which should absolutely not be needed at this point anyway), and still my thumbnails disappear every day or so, sometimes a few times a day. And I thought Microsoft was finally trying to appeal to the photo (and other media) editing crowds... So frustrated. Probably finally getting a Mac next time I'm shopping.
    Saturday, January 14, 2012 9:43 AM
  • And now it's 2013 and this STILL happens in Windows 8. My thumbnails disappear every day or two. This makes it extremely annoying when dealing with thousands of ~50mb lossless image scans, as it takes forever to recreate the thumbnails for even a portion of that.
    Tuesday, February 19, 2013 2:14 AM
  • Under certain circumstances, Windows Explorer will ignore explicit Deny file/folder permissions and deletes the thumbcache files anyway.

    The search for a workaround continues

    • Proposed as answer by DenRad Monday, March 04, 2013 8:18 PM
    • Edited by DenRad Tuesday, March 05, 2013 3:48 PM
    Monday, March 04, 2013 8:15 PM
  • I am also having a problem where some of my thumbnails disappear and reappear etc... Some files have thumbnails and others don't SEE PIC #1. However, I am also experiencing other issues... When I click on "Computer" it sometimes will just fail to load or have a bunch of magnifying glasses searching SEE PIC#2 and then I also have this issue where indexing options won't load AND to top it off I cannot seem to use any of the "Arrange By" options... Please help!

    www.youtube.com/user/Radical924

    Wednesday, April 24, 2013 8:33 AM
  • Also Windows 8.1 preview doesn't solve the problem :(

    While under Win7 preventing the system from deleting the cache worked, the situation is now even worse.

    We NEED a solution. Why is there no way of adding a setting that allows the users to control the behaviour of the thumbnail and tile caches.

    Tuesday, July 02, 2013 12:54 PM
  • this might help:

    try the often suggested tip to deny system-level access to the <appdata>Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer folder (described in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JK7hB5u_VvA )

    AND disable regular maintenance by following this guide:

    http://www.helpwithwindows.com/Windows8/Disable-Windows8-Automatic-Maintenance.html

    on my system, this works for some days now, for the first time in windows 8 (and 8.1)

    Monday, November 18, 2013 6:02 PM
  • EDIT: NO this doesnt help.

    Its a real pain. How hard can it be to not delete these caches?

    Saturday, November 23, 2013 2:16 PM
  • this might help:

    try the often suggested tip to deny system-level access to the <appdata>Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer folder (described in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JK7hB5u_VvA )

    AND disable regular maintenance by following this guide:

    http://www.helpwithwindows.com/Windows8/Disable-Windows8-Automatic-Maintenance.html

    on my system, this works for some days now, for the first time in windows 8 (and 8.1)

    ....... is it still working without any Explorer crashes ?
    Thursday, November 28, 2013 3:16 AM
  • This does not work.
    Tuesday, March 18, 2014 4:34 AM