This is a common problem on Windows for as far back as I remember. For some reason Windows decides not to generate thumbnails for some of the images on your network drive. This shouldn’t be confused with a much more common issue where NO thumbnails are displayed on any images.
I am often creating image files in my job as an Icon Designer and it is sometimes absolutely imperative that I can see the thumbnails as they are generated to spot errors and just to keep track of where I am when working with hundreds of icons.
I have provided the solution to both issues below.
NO Image Thumbnails are being displayed, only Icons
The most common cause of this problem is a setting in windows that just turns the thumbnail generation on or off.
- Open an Explorer Window, click on the View Tab and select ‘Options’ on the right hand side.
- Click on the ‘View’ tab and untick ‘Always show icons, never thumbnails’.
Hopefully, this will solve your problem. If not have a look at the next solution.
Missing thumbnails on a Network Drive
I think this problem is a little more unusual and I have read several solutions to this but none seem to work or if they do, not for long. The solution I found is fairly simple but not well documented as far as I can find in Windows 8 anyway.
What you need to do is adjust the Group Policies for Network Drives in Windows to display thumbnails.
- Open gpedit.msc (I opened a command prompt and typed ‘gpedit’ and hit enter).
- In the left hand column navigate to: User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> File Explorer
- In the right hand window you will see a list, most with ‘Not configured’ to the right. Double click on the 1st one ‘Turn off the display of thumbnails and only display icons’. Select the ‘Disabled’ radio button on the left and click OK. This should sort the thumbnails out on local drives.
- Click ‘Next Setting’ to skip to the next policy: Turn off the display of thumbnails and only display icons on network folders’ and set this to disabled. (If you have your network drive open you may notice the thumbnails all change to icons but don’t worry.)
- If you click ‘Next Settings’ again it will take you to: ‘Turn off the caching of thumbnails in hidden thumbs.db files’. You may want to try setting this to disabled as well but you may find enabling it helps as long as you don’t mind the thumbnails rebuilding each time you enter the folder. I set it to disabled.
- At this stage you may be wondering where all your thumbnails have gone, cursing my name and throwing things at your keyboard but despair not. A simple reboot should see your folders displaying thumbnails as normal, yay!
This problem was driving me nuts so I hope this works for you. Cheers, Adam 🙂
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