How to fix issues with Windows image thumbnails

Updated: 07/13/2023 by Computer Hope
Image thumbnails

Below is a listing of common questions and answers relating to viewing thumbnails in Windows Explorer.

How to enable thumbnail view

Right-click the folder or drive where you want to enable Thumbnail view and select Properties. Choose the option to enable thumbnail view.

Not able to see all images or HTML documents

The steps below require you to enter the computer registry. Before following these steps, we highly recommend you learn more about the registry and its precautions to prevent additional issues with your computer. Additional information about the registry is available on our registry page.

To resolve this issue, click Start, select Run, and type the command below.

Regedit <press Enter> (for Windows 98 and Me users).
regedt32 <press Enter> (for Windows 2000 users).

Once in the registry, verify following keys exist.

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\<file type>\ShellEx\

For each of these keys, verify the following value exists.

(default)  =  "{7376D660-C583-11d0-A3A5-00C04FD706EC}"

If this value does not exist, create it by following the steps below.

  1. In the key where the registry value does not exist, click Edit, New, then String value.
  2. For New Value #1, type (default)
  3. For the data, copy the bold text below and paste it into your registry.


Unable to see animated GIF's

Thumbnails for animated GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) images only display the first frame of the picture and are not animated.

Unable to see some JPEG files

A JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) can be created in four-channel, CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key) color format. Windows is only able to display .JPG files that are in three-channel RGB (Red, Green, and Blue).

If you cannot see any .JPG images, the file extension may be corrupt and may need to be added into the registry. Windows 2000 users can add the below registry value, if it does not already exist.

Open the registry by running the Regedit command and move to the registry directory below.


Next, move into the below directory if it exists. If this directory does not exist, create a folder with the name below.


Once in the directory above, click Edit, New, then String Value. Double-click the new string and enter the value below.


Finally, highlight the string. Click Edit and select Rename, then rename the string to "(Default)."