How do I refresh thumbnails in Windows 7?


  • If I changed a picture file in Windows XP, I could go to the folder containing the file and right click on the thumbnail. The option 'Refresh thumbnails' was on the list. There doesn't seem to be this option in Windows 7. I can temporarily refresh a thumbnail. If I change the thumbnail size fron large to extra large for example, the thumbnail IS refreshed but if I change back to 'large', close and re-open the folder, the old thumbnail is back. So I now have lots of pictures with out-of-date thumbnails.

    Tuesday, December 01, 2009 11:12 AM


  • Hi mike-holden,


    You can also try the following steps:


    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.)





    • Marked as answer by Linda Yan Wednesday, December 16, 2009 2:09 AM
    Wednesday, December 02, 2009 6:51 AM

All replies

  • 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 (see the link below for details).

    This seems pertinent:

    I suppose you *could* disable the thumbnail caching feature entirely (something that requires registry hacking) to get them to be regenerated every time; it would certainly be harder for them to get out of date in that case.  :)

    Wednesday, December 02, 2009 5:07 AM
  • Hi mike-holden,


    You can also try the following steps:


    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.)





    • Marked as answer by Linda Yan Wednesday, December 16, 2009 2:09 AM
    Wednesday, December 02, 2009 6:51 AM
  • Hello Linda Yan,
    1. "Always show icons, never thumbnails"  was already unchecked in Folder Options.
    2. Ran Disk Cleanup with Thumbnails checked. When I looked in a pictures folder, the old thumbnails were still there.
    Tell me, why did MS remove the "Refresh thumbnails" in Windows 7? 
    Friday, December 04, 2009 4:26 PM
  • Dear Noel Carboni,
    Thanks for your suggestion, but...
    I ran Disk Cleanup with Thumbnails checked. When I looked in a pictures folder, the old thumbnails were still there.
    I do not want to go into the registry to refresh thumbnails. There must be a better way..
    • Edited by mike-holden Friday, October 18, 2013 4:09 PM
    Friday, December 04, 2009 4:30 PM
  • Dear Linda Yan,
    Forgot to mention, when I checked "Always show icons, never thumbnails" in Folder Options I just got icons in the Picture folder. (as you might expect). Not much use if you want to find a picture quickly. Unchecking "Always show icons, never thumbnails" again displayed the old icons.
    Friday, December 04, 2009 4:37 PM
  • Since you have the "Always show icons, never thumbnails" option checked, and yet you're still seeing thumbnails, I wonder whether it's possible you've installed some Explorer extension that's showing the thumbnails.

    Have you installed any software originally made for an older version of Windows to do something like this?  Any special codec for a digital camera, for example?

    If you're not sure, ShellExView will show you non-Microsoft Explorer extensions:

    Look for the non-Microsoft extensions, highlighted in red.

    Saturday, December 05, 2009 3:13 AM
  • Dear Noel Carboni,

    I ran ShellExView. There were 7 non-Microsoft extensions listed. 
    3 x NVIDIA Corp.
    2 x TuneUp Utilites
    1 x Intel Corp.
    1 with no Company name, with the Extension name - 'Bluewire General Property Sheet', Product name - ContextH Application.
    I don't recognize the last one.
    Tried to disable the extension. When I clicked on Disable, the Disabled column entry still showed 'No'.

    Saturday, December 05, 2009 10:35 AM
  • Hi Mike,


    Did you try deleting the thumbcache_xxx.db files in the %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer folder as Noel mentioned? If not, please delete them and see if the issue can be resolved.


    Also, search all the thumbs.db file in the system and delete them as well. (Please change the folder to other views such as List before deleting this file.)


    The thumbnails should be recreated after deleting these files.



    Monday, December 07, 2009 2:57 AM
  • Dear Linda Yan,
    I had problems deleting the thumbcache_xxx.db files. I got a message 'This action cannot be completed because the file is open in Windows Explorer'. I deleted all the thumbs.db documents and files but this made no difference to the thumbnails.
    Monday, December 07, 2009 6:17 PM
  • Hi Mike,


    Please create a new user account and see if the issue occurs.


    Also, please re-run Disk Cleanup tool by the steps below to check the result:


    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.



    Tuesday, December 08, 2009 3:12 AM
  • Well well, a day later, without having done anything after much exploration, restarting, switching off the caching, the problem has DISAPPEARED. Perhaps it was a Windows 7 patch. Whatever, it works.
    Below is now redundant......

    I have the same problem in Windows 7 Pictures Library. The images remain visible in original place after their removal/deletion - in other words, automatic refresh does not work (which of course makes image management painful as one cannot see what has been moved/deleted). 

    I have done all the previous steps (incl disk cleanup to remove thumbnails and to Always show icons etc) but the images remain unchanged until one leaves the program and reenters it. 
    Tuesday, December 08, 2009 7:30 AM
  • Dear Linda Yan,
    I did the Disk cleanup first. It made no difference.
    I created a new account.
    I changed a picture using Paint, because my usual program, Photoshop Elements, was not available in this account.
    When I saved the picture the thumbnail changed
    I closed and opened the folder and the thumbnail remained changed.
    I went back to my old account and changed another picture using Paint.
    The thumnail changed - and stayed changed.
    I tried the same procedure using Photoshop Elements.
    The thumbnails did NOT change. 
    So the problem appears to occur with pictures changed by Photoshop Elements but not by Paint.
    Tuesday, December 08, 2009 11:39 AM
  • Hi Mike,


    I downloaded Adobe Photoshop Elements 8.0 free trial version and tested the issue. However, the issue could not be reproduced. Could you please let me know the version of Adobe Photoshop Elements you are using? If it is an earlier version, please contact Adobe directly to confirm if there is any compatibility issue with Windows 7.





    Monday, December 14, 2009 9:18 AM
  • Dear Linda Yan,
    I am using  Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0, which works fine in all other respects.
    However, I go back to my original question.
    What happened to the 'Refresh thumbnails' option which was so useful in Windows XP?
    Monday, December 14, 2009 5:31 PM
  • This option has been removed. I agree with you that it would be more convenient to have this option to refresh thumbnail manually. I will forward your feedback to related group.


    Thank you again for your time and feedback!

    Tuesday, December 15, 2009 2:24 AM
  • Dear Linda Yan,
    Thank you for trying to resolve this problem.
    I hope the 'Refresh thumbnails' option gets reinstated in the near future.

    Tuesday, December 15, 2009 5:56 PM
  • Solution!  Just delete the affected files/folders then undo it!  Thumbnails regenerate properly
    Monday, April 05, 2010 1:46 PM
  • Thanks Taylor M. This was helpful, but it would be better if the Refresh Thumbnails option were reinstated. 

    Sunday, July 11, 2010 9:04 PM
  • I tried all the suggestions here and in every other forum on the subject I could find.

    None of them worked!

    I did find a method, myself, for changing one icon at a time. Not much use if you have a geat many, but OK if you have a thumbnail that you find particularly annoying.

    Go to the folder containing the picture file in Windows. Display the picture with Windows Photo Viewer. Rotate the picture then close the window. The thumbnail in the folder is shown rotated. Close the folder.

    Open the picture file in Adobe Photoshop Elements (This may work using other photo software, I don't know). Rotate the picture back. Save the picture, and close Adobe Photoshop Elements.

    Re-open the folder containing the picture file in Windows. The thumbnail now displays correctly. Even when you refresh the window, the thumbnail does not change back.

    This is a pain in the ****. In fact it is my only real complaint about Windows 7,  so PLEASE, Microsoft, reinstate the Refresh Thumbnail option ASAP.

    Thursday, July 22, 2010 6:51 PM
  • I'm also struggling with this issue in regards to Adobe Photoshop 7. It seems like it might be an Adobe issue, but I'm not sure. I used to be able to fix this with the old "refresh thumbnails" option on XP, it's a shame it's gone as it's causing me a lot of trouble.  Taylor M's advice seemed very useful at first but I'm running on a network drive, so it wouldn't let me undo!  Luckily I only tried this with a few files, so I was able to retrieve them from the backup.

    Anyway, a fix would be greatly appreciated, though by the sounds of it I might just have to upgrade to a newer version of Photoshop.

    Friday, July 30, 2010 11:24 AM
  • Since MS Paint will correctly alter the thumbnail, you can correct a thumbnail by opening the file in Paint and saving it again, from Paint. This worked for me whereas the other suggestions did not.


    Good luck!


    Tuesday, September 07, 2010 8:46 PM
  • This happens only with some photographed JPG files that are stored with the EXIF data (specifically Exif.Thumbnail).

    Why Paint saves the picture with the correct
    thumbnail ?
    When saving the picture in Paint, it
    corrects EXIF data.

    My solution is to delete only the "broken" Exif.Thumbnail data using a free program exiv2 (
    Using the command prompt in the folder
    that contains exiv2 and picture (Example.jpg), write:
    exiv2 -dt Example.jpg

    It works for me!

    • Proposed as answer by BrinMan Saturday, November 02, 2013 9:01 PM
    Friday, November 19, 2010 5:13 AM
  • This happens to me as well, but only (so far) with .ico files.

    This is a problem, as I am a graphic designer who works on .ico files every day. If I make any changes to the file, the changes  are not represented by the thumbnail. The only view which accurately represents the latest state of the file itself is the "content" view. This is fine when I have ten or fewer files, but I can regularly have dozens of .ico files in the same folder, and it would be very helpful to be able to select the "medium icons" view and have it work.

    Rebooting, or deleting the icon cache, are not helpful workarounds, IMO.

    Wednesday, December 01, 2010 9:38 PM
  • I found that switching to Extra Large Icons then Large Icons fixed it for me.
    • Proposed as answer by Peter Lairo Monday, May 23, 2011 4:59 PM
    Tuesday, December 21, 2010 9:27 AM
  • Interesting. That does not, however, work for me.
    Tuesday, December 21, 2010 3:37 PM
  • Not an Adobe issue for sure - I have this same problem, and I don't have Adobe - I use Corel Photo-Paint.

    I've tried all of the suggestions above, and others from other forums.  The only way I've been able to correct a thumbnail is to open the file in Photo-Paint, copy the entire image, create a new image from the clipboard, and then Save As the old file-name.

    I haven't tried Paint - but I imagine the results would be the same.  But this is hardly a solution, as it only works for one picture at a time.

    Please, Microsoft, restore the Refresh Thumbnail option - it IS needed.  Either that, or fix the problem that made Refresh Thumbnail necessary in the first place.

    As a photographer, my main use of the computer is for photo editing.  I'm seriously considering Linux as a better, faster and more stable alternative - an much cheaper too.

    Sunday, January 16, 2011 9:24 AM
  • I have this same problem. I use Adobe as well as Corel Photo Paint and Microsoft paint. This, among many other thing that were available and necessary in XP, doesn't work and we shouldn't have to access the registry to fix it - that's ridiculous! I



    Saturday, February 12, 2011 1:04 AM
  • I'm with you on this one, mike-holden! How do we communicate such needs to Microsoft???
    Saturday, February 12, 2011 1:05 AM
  • I have the same problem with ICOs.  The workaround I use is to switch to "Content" view.
    • Proposed as answer by MunchyG Tuesday, March 01, 2011 6:20 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by MunchyG Tuesday, March 01, 2011 6:21 PM
    Tuesday, March 01, 2011 6:20 PM
  • Content view fixes part of it -- the refresh issue. But when I have a folder of 100+ icons, having the view in a list going vertically (and no other choice) makes it hard to do a visual scan of which file I'm looking for. I want the other views to work the way they used to!
    Tuesday, March 01, 2011 7:10 PM
  • I downloaded that program, but can't figure out how to do what you are saying. When I open the program the command prompt file opens and shuts before I can do anything. I'm very confused. Please explain more. Thank you.
    Saturday, April 16, 2011 2:05 AM
  • 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.


    • Proposed as answer by Peter Lairo Monday, May 23, 2011 4:59 PM
    Thursday, May 05, 2011 5:13 AM
  • ... folder options ... Always show icons, never thumbnails ...

    Marked As Answer by
    Linda Yan - Microsoft Contingent Staff
    This is definitely NOT the answer. Please un-mark it as the answer.

    The answers that did work for me were:

    1. Switch to Extra Large Icons view, and then back to your preferred view (mine is Large Icons).

    2. Copy the files. Delete the original files. Move the copied files back
    Monday, May 23, 2011 5:05 PM
  • While this topic was obviously started a looooong time ago, maybe there are still users out there like me who are just now getting to the point of being fed-up enough with this problem to seek a solution. As OP mike_holden states in his 07/22/10 post, rotating the thumbnails in Windows Explorer folder-view (and then rotating them back) seems to be the most simple solution and worked for me. Depending on your situation (importing new files or dealing with existing files), there are multiple strategies for correcting the problem. Since I'm most often affected when importing tens or hundreds of new digital images from a camera that recycles its file names, I'll discuss the method for dealing with that situation: First, transfer the files to your computer in a way that keeps them all in the same folder, separate from previously downloaded material on your computer (I understand some 3rd Party software controls this process. Since I don't use such software, I can't speak to how it will affect what we're talking about here, but the important thing to remember is to get all the new images in a folder by themselves). Now, open the folder containing the new images. From Windows Explore view select "Organize" and then "Select All"; all the files (thumbnails) should be highlighted. Now, right-click on any one of the thumbs (files), doesn't matter which one, and select "Rotate Clockwise". All the files in the folder should begin to sequentially rotate clockwise 90 degrees. As they rotate, you should see the refreshed (new) thumbnail. Once all the thumbs have rotated, again right-click on any one of the thumbs and select "Rotate COUNTERCLOCKWISE". All the files in the folder should begin to again sequentially rotate, this time counterclockwise 90 degrees, back to their original orientation, with their new (correct) thumbnail. Good Luck and why MS ever deleted this utility is beyond me.......
    Tuesday, August 30, 2011 5:58 PM
  • Enzeru, please keep in mind that rotating the images back and forth in the manner you describe causes actual degradation of the images!

    They're being decoded and re-encoded with lossy JPEG algorithms.

    I've set my system to show every folder as a General Items folder, and I don't use libraries, and I have to say I never see a problem with thumbnails being lost or in need of updates.  Just mentioning this to suggest some possible things you can do to help with the root problem (rather than the workaround).

    By the way, if you do any raw shooting or use Photoshop, there's an inexpensive commercial shell extension called the FastPictureViewer Codec Pack that does a great job of making thumbnails and even Windows Photo Viewer previews out of the raw files and PSD files.  I bought and have been using this nice little package for quite a while now.  It's very stable.


    Tuesday, August 30, 2011 7:17 PM
  • I have found the solution! I don't have the original source, but it was another forum on Microsoft TechNet... I don't take 100% credit for this, but here it is!


    1. Open up Registry Editor (start - run - regedit)
    2. File - Export and save a backup just in case
    3. Edit - Find and search for: dontrefresh
    4. The first and only result on my Windows 7 system finds a REG_DWORD that is set to "1". Double click it, change Value Data to 0, and click OK.
    5. I restarted explorer.exe (YOU NEED TO DO THIS) and it worked. You can do this by simply restarting your computer, or ending the process from Task Manager (and starting a new explorer.exe).



    • Edited by Aurabolt Monday, September 26, 2011 6:12 AM Found the real solution
    • Proposed as answer by Aurabolt Monday, September 26, 2011 6:21 AM
    Monday, September 26, 2011 5:55 AM
  • I could not find "dontrefresh" nor "REG_DWORD" in my Windows 7 64-bit registry (start - run - regedit).
    Monday, September 26, 2011 9:17 AM
  • This is false as long as the image has dimensions that are a multiple of 16 (and possibly 8, depending on the settings). JPEG has supported lossless rotation for a while, and Microsoft uses it if available, and will give you a warning if it is not.

    And nearly all digital cameras and scanners output files that fit these constraints.

    Saturday, November 19, 2011 8:37 PM
  • I doubt that the number of bits is that significant. Surely Photoshop cannot be working directly on JPEG format, but must convert to some bit-map form (.psd?) at Open? Otherwise how could it do rotations etc as fast as it does? Rotating a picture (eg to portrait format) refreshes the thumbnail to reflect that change, but makes no other changes whatsoever. I assume it sends a flag to the system, which then rotates the thumbnail to match, but does not otherwise regenerate it, at least in W7 starter.

    Really, a fix to this problem in W7 is needed urgently. I have just returned from holiday with some 500 pictures in 30 folders. They mostly needed adjustments in Photoshop. To get the thumbnails updated, I was obliged to put them on to a USB memory and copy them into my old XP computer (10 years old, but it still works, if slowly). There it is relatively easy. Go to folder after folder; in each one select all (CTRL+A - yes, I'm a keyboard person, but do it mouse-wise if you prefer) then invoke File>refresh (ALT F F, ditto). Then copy the results back to the USB memory, and use that to replace the originals on the W7 engine. Tedious, but it works.

    Linda: please fix this in the next possible update - and let us know when you have.

    Friday, May 18, 2012 5:29 PM
  • I know this post is old, but your note caused it to come back up on my radar, Tim, and I hadn't seen trkly's (bogus) response before...

    This is false as long as the image has dimensions that are a multiple of 16 (and possibly 8, depending on the settings). JPEG has supported lossless rotation for a while, and Microsoft uses it if available, and will give you a warning if it is not.

    And nearly all digital cameras and scanners output files that fit these constraints.

    Trlkly, rather than just citing theory to make yourself sound smart, why not actually try it?  Copy an image to a test folder, then rotate it and rotate it back, then compare it with the original.  If you do you will find that "this is true", not false.  And no, you don't get any warning.

    Here's an over/under comparison showing that the rotation CW then CCW using Explorer introduced degradation.

    But you don't have to get that fancy.  Just looking at the file sizes gives it away:

    C:\TEMP>dir testbefore.jpg testafter.jpg
     Volume in drive C is C - NoelC4 SSD
     Volume Serial Number is 00ED-C11E

     Directory of C:\TEMP

    05/20/2012  06:33 PM         1,804,792 TestBefore.jpg

     Directory of C:\TEMP

    05/20/2012  06:34 PM         1,403,539 TestAfter.jpg
                   2 File(s)      3,208,331 bytes
                   0 Dir(s)  1,226,254,721,024 bytes free


    Detailed how-to in my eBook:  
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    Sunday, May 20, 2012 10:42 PM
  • Noel is correct.  Using rotation in Explorer does degrade an image slightly.

    Now to the purpose of this post.  I have tried everything that has been listed in this thread and the only thing that resets the thumbnail image is to open and save in Paint. I'm like laurah69 in that I deal in a lot of graphics as I design and develop websites.  So this is an important issue for me.  I use an older graphics program, PhotoImpact (mainly as I know it like the back of my hand and it works for me) but thumbnails are not updated.  The strange thing is I can even save it as a new name and the same thumbnail is displayed.  Weird!  If I move the folder to my Windows Vista system, the thumbnails are regenerated and show correctly.  However, if I copy the image back to my Windows 7, the old 'bad' thumbnail is still there. Very weird!! :(

    Honestly, I am totally frustrated that something which worked so great in previous versions of Windows was removed for Windows 7.  This is another example of Microsoft shooting itself in the foot and we all know that they have done that before.  I wish they would learn that if something works fine, leave it 'the hell' alone!  Personally, I don't think anyone of great importance at Microsoft will ever see this post so I have 'no' expectations that this will ever be resolved.   It's a pity. :(

    Just another ol' Hacker

    Tuesday, May 22, 2012 4:13 PM
  • At least some of the posters on here had thumbnails in the first place.

    Like many others, I have accumulated many thousands of photo files, arranged carefully in appropriate folders.

    However, mine sit on a server (Windows Server 2003 R2).

    Under XP, I can see which pic I want to click on it without hassle.

    Warm up the Win7 box, and all I see are icons. Thousands of identical green and blue sketches.

    Nothing in "Organize" makes any difference. Neither changing the view, nor resorting, make any difference either. Selecting All (Ctrl-A) looked like it was going to work - it updated the first SEVEN thumbnails, but then stopped. There are eight on the each row on my screen, and nearly a hundred rows in the folder. In another folder this gave me only five thumbnails.

    I tried deleting THUMBS.DB, assuming the XP format was confusing it, but Win7 refused to do anything better. Moving the files to another folder, then moving them back, just gave me the icons again.

    Manually selecting each file in turn gets the thumbnail updated, but this takes about a second per file - I have to wait for the preview to appear in the bottom pane. This method creates a fresh THUMBS.DB, by the way.

    All the boxes on my domain are fully patched. ALL THE BOXES ARE RUNNING MICROSOFT SOFTWARE. This is the bog-standard EXPLORER.EXE, with no strange extensions. There is NO third party software involved. Nothing is out of date.

    When I ask to see thumbnails, Windows ought to show me thumbnails.

    I don't think I am asking for anything wierd. I just want things to work the way they are claimed to.

    Friday, May 25, 2012 12:11 AM
  • I could not find "dontrefresh" nor "REG_DWORD" in my Windows 7 64-bit registry (start - run - regedit).

    Yeah, I smell troll, cuz neither could I and nor does it sound like a Microsoft key, but anyway.

    Nor does Enzeru's rotate solution work for me -- it happily rotated the thumbnail 90deg and back again.

    I tried Mr Carboni's technique of deleting the thumbnail files -- gee, once there was one per folder, but now I have to delete them ALL?!?!?! -- but I could not get past the Windows gatekeeper. So I assume I have to be in safe-mode DOS before that will work.

    So I am left wondering, like several others, what the hell gives. This might seem like a small matter to you, MS, but do you not GET that being forced to hack around in the registry, or restart in Safe Mode, or whatever incantation is required is unacceptable when the only thing we are trying to achieve is a simple thumbnail refresh. Nothing sophisticated. And, let's face it, there is only ONE thing more than run programs that Windows has to do and do well as an operating system: a file manager. That's all. I think you forget this detail, Mr MS. And, look, I do understand that you can point out to me "Well, this is a minor bug, remember Windows ME?", but resting on your laurels will only get you so far, Mr MS.

    Anyway, for anyone still suffering under this bug, I have found a foolproof solution. It aint pretty, but it certainly worked. Open the file in MS Paint, save it again as a PNG file, and delete the original. PNG is lossless, so you haven't lost any bytes, 'cept, of course, for your metadata. So this probably isn't a good idea for photos you took.

    Peace all.

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012 8:50 AM
  • You can do administrative things to your disk if you start Explorer or a CMD window As Administrator.  You don't need "safe-mode DOS", even if there were such a thing.  :)



    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

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    Tuesday, December 11, 2012 2:08 PM
  • Time to put everyone out of their misery!!

    It seems explorer uses the thumbnail stored in the EXIF metadata of an image for the medium size thumbnail. Many image editing programs fail to update this thumbnail when modifications are made and so you end up with this problem.

    One solution is to use XnView (or the in newer version in development XnViewMP) from Simply select all the images (or select all with CRTL-A) and go to edit->metatadata->recreate EXIF thumbnail. (It is under the tools menu in XnViewMP). You may or may not find it creates backup files of the originals and you may be able to turn this off in the settings (I only just started using this program myself so not sure about this).

    • Proposed as answer by MidnightFoiler Friday, February 08, 2013 2:32 PM
    Friday, February 08, 2013 2:32 PM
  • I'm not surprised other people couldn't find the "dontrefresh" keyword, it was in about a sketchy place as exists in the registry, CLASSES\Wow6432Node\CLSID\ some random CLSID, but for me changing the DWORD to 0 from 1 fixed it! My folders started generating thumbnails on their own once I restarted explorer. I literally made a Technet account in order to upvote this, and say that it worked for me, so that future users might have a better solution than "generate a thumbnail manually for each image" which seemed to be the consensus before this one -__-

    In my instance, I had literally thousands of images which I needed thumbnailed, and I'm so glad that I found a reasonable way to do it.

    edit: wow so i guess technet doesn't handle replies very gracefully (my post appears at the bottom with no context whatsoever) the solution which worked for me was aurabolt's; it worked flawlessly for me.
    Monday, February 11, 2013 6:23 AM
  • ctrl_alt_create--

    I'd like to add this key CLASSES\Wow6432Node\CLSID\, but I want to be sure it will be OK.

    Is your system 32 or 64 bit?




    Saturday, April 20, 2013 5:43 AM
  • Excellent answer Kresho123!  Worked for me too! To make it a bit easier to use, others can do as I did and make it into a context menu deal that you can run on an entire folder. This only works if you're using Windows 7 or 8 as it depends on the "forfiles" command that comes with Windows 7 (but you can get it for Windows xp as well through the "Resource Kit" for XP).

    Create a file named "remove-thumbnail-exif.bat" and place it in this directory path:


    Place this code in that file:

    cd %1
    forfiles /M *.jpg /s /c "cmd /c @\"C:\tools\exiv2\exiv2.exe\" -dt @file"

    Then create a file named "remove-thumbnail-exif.reg" and place this code in it:

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\Remove Thumbnail Exif\command]
    @="\"c:\\tools\\exiv2\\remove-thumbnail-exif.bat\" \"%1\""

    Then double click that .reg file to import that information into your windows registry.

    Now you can right-click any folder directly in your windows explorer and it will remove the thumbnail exif data for all jpegs in that folder. The only thing that stinks is that you need to rotate the images BEFORE you run this tool.  It doesn't work if you run this tool, and then rotate the image (using something other than MS Paint). I use this tool (, for example, which provides a right-click context menu for losslessly rotating images in the explorer view.

    Saturday, November 02, 2013 10:33 PM
  • In windows 7 the previews for images are easily regenerated by using this simple trick: Select all the images you want to regenerate previews for, right -click and select rotate clockwise (that will force a regeneration of the previews), then right-click again and select rotate counter-clockwise. BAM!
    Monday, June 01, 2015 4:24 PM
  • Do not do this! Rotating images with the standard functionality in Win 7 reduces the quality of your image. If you repeat the process the image will degrade.
    Tuesday, May 24, 2016 10:56 AM