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How to change Explorer window thumbnail size pixel values in Windows 7? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello,

    I've had Win7 (64-bit) for almost a year now, and I have been completely unable to discover a solution to this issue. I know that there are several choices for thumbnail sizes in Explorer windows (extra-large, large, medium, small, etc, with a slider bar between them).  What I want to do is change the actual pixel value for one or more of these stops on the slider. I use MANY folders, and sliding the bar for each one is a ridiculous amount of work, when I should be able to go into the registry and specify a size value for at least a default setting, as I used to be able to do in prior versions of Windows (either manually or by using TweakUI). I've never been able to slide the bar in one folder and have it stick as a universal setting - I've read and done all the procedures for attempting this, but after a year I'm getting extremely tired of having no success with this BASIC FUNCTIONALITY of the OS.

    It's the loss of this sort of adaptability that always make each succeeding OS version a step backwards in usability - when adding feature X, why is it always apparently necessary to remove features Y and Z? Each version is less flexible than the one before.  Why is there no equivalent for TweakUI for Windows 7?  Or better still, why wasn't that sort of 'tweakability' built into the OS from the start?? Nobody knows how I will work best with my system, and locking me into a bunch of rigid UI decisions is what drives a person to consider other OS alternatives, out of pure frustration.

    I've tried adding both DWORD and QWORD values directly to the registry to modify icon sizes, but nothing has ever had an effect on the displayed size of the image thumbnails. I suspect this is because of the slider-bar business, but there's still got to be a way to modify the "setpoints" on that slider, up to the max value of 256 pixels.  I hope someone with this knowledge can PLEASE share it with me. I'd be SO grateful!

    12 Feb 2012  1229est

    Sunday, February 12, 2012 5:32 PM

Answers

  • It's possible, if one of the standard icon sizes will be acceptable to you, that I can suggest something that might be helpful to you, or at least get you closer...  But I have to lead with this caveat:  I've never set up a system to default to large icons view, for example - just Details view, which is my preference.

    First off, have you tried this:

    1. Navigate into a particular folder that has images in it.
    2. Right-click the folder over in the navigation pane, and choose Properties.
    3. Click the Customize tab.  See that it's set to Optimize this folder for: Pictures and OK out.
    4. Back in Explorer, set the view to whatever size you like - e.g., Extra Large Icons.
    5. Now click Organize and choose Folder & Search Options.
    6. In the View tab, choose the [ Apply to Folders ] button.

    The above should set your system up so that other folders  of the Pictures type will be set up to display using Extra Large Icons as well.  The trouble is that the system decides which folders should be set up as Pictures folder.  It often gets it right, but...  I do know a way to force all folders to General Items view.  We'll discuss that if the above doesn't get you where you want to go.

    Please let me know how this works for you.

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my new eBook: Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options

    • Proposed as answer by zhen tan Tuesday, February 14, 2012 7:30 AM
    • Marked as answer by Arthur Xie Tuesday, February 21, 2012 5:52 AM
    Sunday, February 12, 2012 10:59 PM
  • Here's the info on having all new folders start as and stay General Items view.  Existing folders may still be set to whatever the system determined at a prior time, but of course you know how to change them.  This is excerpted from my book:

      Microsoft seems to feel you need to see different views of your files depending on predominantly what kinds of files you have in a folder.  From our perspective, they're all just files, and we'd like to see them in one way - the "General Items" view, showing the name, folder, mod date, etc.

      If you do not want Explorer to try to auto-detect Folder Types but always use "General Items" for all, add this registry value and set it to the string shown:

      [HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Classes \ Local Settings \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ Shell \ Bags \ AllFolders \ Shell]

      FolderType  REG_SZ  NotSpecified

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my new eBook: Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options


    • Edited by Noel Carboni Tuesday, February 14, 2012 4:37 PM
    • Proposed as answer by zhen tan Wednesday, February 15, 2012 9:42 AM
    • Marked as answer by Arthur Xie Tuesday, February 21, 2012 5:52 AM
    Tuesday, February 14, 2012 4:30 PM

All replies

  • It's possible, if one of the standard icon sizes will be acceptable to you, that I can suggest something that might be helpful to you, or at least get you closer...  But I have to lead with this caveat:  I've never set up a system to default to large icons view, for example - just Details view, which is my preference.

    First off, have you tried this:

    1. Navigate into a particular folder that has images in it.
    2. Right-click the folder over in the navigation pane, and choose Properties.
    3. Click the Customize tab.  See that it's set to Optimize this folder for: Pictures and OK out.
    4. Back in Explorer, set the view to whatever size you like - e.g., Extra Large Icons.
    5. Now click Organize and choose Folder & Search Options.
    6. In the View tab, choose the [ Apply to Folders ] button.

    The above should set your system up so that other folders  of the Pictures type will be set up to display using Extra Large Icons as well.  The trouble is that the system decides which folders should be set up as Pictures folder.  It often gets it right, but...  I do know a way to force all folders to General Items view.  We'll discuss that if the above doesn't get you where you want to go.

    Please let me know how this works for you.

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my new eBook: Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options

    • Proposed as answer by zhen tan Tuesday, February 14, 2012 7:30 AM
    • Marked as answer by Arthur Xie Tuesday, February 21, 2012 5:52 AM
    Sunday, February 12, 2012 10:59 PM
  • Hi Noel,

    Thanks for this information. It may help me out at least partially.  Ideally I'd just like to be able to input values to all four of the icon-size presets... you'd think there has to be a way to do that in the registry, but that's what I've been unable to find in the year that I've been looking for it.

    I would also be interested in your method for forcing all folders to the General Items view.  Is there a document somewhere (I'll have to search for this) that specifies the parameters for each of the folder-type selections (fields, widths, whatever)?  That would be useful to know. It would be even more useful if MS gave us a way to customize those parameters or add additional "types" -- that's the sort of UI functionality that I really long for, but every version of Windows seems to take us farther from it.

    I'll check back again later, and I'll also let you know whether your advice above has been helpful. If it works like I think it's supposed to, it might do the trick. (that's the IF though)

    Regards, Leeeny

    Tuesday, February 14, 2012 2:21 PM
  • Here's the info on having all new folders start as and stay General Items view.  Existing folders may still be set to whatever the system determined at a prior time, but of course you know how to change them.  This is excerpted from my book:

      Microsoft seems to feel you need to see different views of your files depending on predominantly what kinds of files you have in a folder.  From our perspective, they're all just files, and we'd like to see them in one way - the "General Items" view, showing the name, folder, mod date, etc.

      If you do not want Explorer to try to auto-detect Folder Types but always use "General Items" for all, add this registry value and set it to the string shown:

      [HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Classes \ Local Settings \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ Shell \ Bags \ AllFolders \ Shell]

      FolderType  REG_SZ  NotSpecified

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my new eBook: Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options


    • Edited by Noel Carboni Tuesday, February 14, 2012 4:37 PM
    • Proposed as answer by zhen tan Wednesday, February 15, 2012 9:42 AM
    • Marked as answer by Arthur Xie Tuesday, February 21, 2012 5:52 AM
    Tuesday, February 14, 2012 4:30 PM
  • Many thanks, that looks like a good thing to know.  By the way, the host for your book link (smashwords.com) seems to be having server troubles, the link is down completely now. Earlier today there was a message saying that they were experiencing some problems since yesterday (Mon 2/13).
    Tuesday, February 14, 2012 7:35 PM
  • Thanks for that feedback.  I need to check with them to see what the heck's up.

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my new eBook: Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options

    Tuesday, February 14, 2012 8:29 PM
  • Noel -

    Just an update - as of Wednesday morning, Smashwords was back up. And you made a sale :-) .  Thanks again for your help.

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012 2:47 PM
  • Thanks!

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my new eBook: Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012 7:46 PM