How To Show Thumbnails In Windows 11

Windows 11 offers a variety of options to display thumbnails, and we will walk you through the process to ensure you can view your files with ease.

To show thumbnails in Windows 11, there are several solutions you can try. First, you can refresh your desktop by right-clicking anywhere on it and selecting “Refresh.” Another option is to change the file icon size to medium, large, or extra-large, as thumbnails won’t display when the size is set to small.

Additionally, you can change the folder view style to either tiles or content, as the list and details options may shrink the icons too much for thumbnails to work. Make sure that the option “Always show icons, never thumbnails” is deselected in File Explorer’s view settings.

You can also restore File Explorer default settings, restart File Explorer or your Windows 11 system, perform a Windows update and update your Windows 11 apps. Deleting junk files and freeing up space on your device can also help.

Run a Windows troubleshooter, check your default apps, and review Windows’ advanced system settings to ensure that the necessary options are selected. Lastly, you can perform a Windows 11 SFC scan to check for missing or corrupted system files.

With these steps and troubleshooting methods, you’ll be able to enable thumbnails on your Windows 11 system and enjoy a more visually enhanced experience while navigating through your files.

Source: combination of information from the first and second sources.

Refreshing Your Desktop and Adjusting File Icon Size

By refreshing your desktop and adjusting the file icon size, you can pave the way for thumbnails to be displayed effectively on your Windows 11 system. These simple steps can help you enhance your visual experience and make navigating through your files a breeze.

To start, let’s refresh your desktop. Right-click anywhere on your desktop and select “Refresh” from the context menu. This will reset any settings that might be preventing thumbnails from appearing.

Next, it’s important to adjust the file icon size. Thumbnails won’t display when the size is set to small. To change the icon size, right-click on your desktop and select “Display settings.” Under the “Scale and layout” section, choose either medium, large, or extra-large. This will ensure that the icons are large enough for thumbnails to show.

Table: Comparing File Icon Sizes

Icon Size Description
Small Icons are too small for thumbnails to display
Medium Icons are large enough for thumbnails to show
Large Icons are even larger, providing a clearer view of thumbnails
Extra-large Icons are the largest option, offering the best visibility for thumbnails

Once you’ve refreshed your desktop and adjusted the file icon size, you’re on your way to enjoying thumbnails in Windows 11. But don’t stop here! There are more steps and troubleshooting methods you can try to ensure smooth thumbnail display. In the next section, we’ll explore changing the folder view style and checking File Explorer settings to optimize thumbnail viewing.

Changing Folder View Style and Checking File Explorer Settings

Properly configuring your folder view style and checking File Explorer settings is essential to enable the smooth display of thumbnails on Windows 11. By following these steps, you can ensure that your folders and files are displayed with the visual previews you desire.

  1. Open File Explorer by pressing the Windows key and E simultaneously or by clicking the folder icon on the taskbar.
  2. Once inside File Explorer, navigate to the folder that contains the files or folders for which you want to enable thumbnails.
  3. Click on the “View” tab at the top of the File Explorer window.
  4. In the “Layout” group, you will find various view style options. Select either “Tiles” or “Content”. Both of these options are suitable for displaying thumbnails effectively.
  5. Next, click on the “Options” button in the “Layout” group. A new window titled “Folder Options” will appear.
  6. Within the “Folder Options” window, click on the “View” tab.
  7. Scroll down to find the “Advanced settings” section and locate the checkbox that says “Always show icons, never thumbnails”. Ensure that this option is not selected. This will allow thumbnails to be displayed instead of generic icons for your files.
  8. Once you have made the necessary changes, click the “Apply” button at the bottom of the window and then click “OK” to save the changes.
  9. Now, when you navigate back to your folder, you should see thumbnails for your files and folders.

By following the steps above, you can optimize your folder view style and ensure that File Explorer settings are correctly configured to display thumbnails on your Windows 11 system. Thumbnails provide a visual preview of your files, making it easier to navigate and locate specific items.

Summary

To enable thumbnails in Windows 11, it is important to configure your folder view style and check your File Explorer settings. By selecting either the “Tiles” or “Content” view style, you can ensure that thumbnails are displayed effectively. Additionally, make sure that the option “Always show icons, never thumbnails” is deselected in the “Folder Options” window. Following these steps will enhance your visual experience and make it easier to find and manage your files and folders.

Steps: Folder View Style and File Explorer Settings
1. Open File Explorer by pressing the Windows key and E simultaneously or by clicking the folder icon on the taskbar.
2. Navigate to the desired folder that contains the files or folders for which you want to enable thumbnails.
3. Click the “View” tab at the top of the File Explorer window.
4. Select either the “Tiles” or “Content” view style.
5. Click the “Options” button in the “Layout” group.
6. In the “Folder Options” window, go to the “View” tab.
7. Ensure that the option “Always show icons, never thumbnails” is not selected.
8. Click “Apply” and then “OK” to save the changes.

Additional Steps and Troubleshooting Methods

By following these additional steps and troubleshooting methods, you can overcome any obstacles and ensure that thumbnails are displayed seamlessly on your Windows 11 system.

One important step is to perform a Windows update and update your Windows 11 apps. Keeping your system and apps up to date not only improves overall performance but also ensures compatibility with the latest features, including thumbnail display.

Deleting junk files and freeing up space on your device can also help optimize thumbnail display. Accumulated junk files can slow down your system and potentially interfere with the thumbnail generation process. Cleaning up your device regularly can improve performance and enhance the visual experience.

If you’re still experiencing issues with thumbnail display, running a Windows troubleshooter can help diagnose and resolve potential problems. The troubleshooter can identify any underlying issues and apply appropriate fixes to restore thumbnail functionality.

It’s also worth checking your default apps to ensure that the correct programs are assigned to open certain file types. Sometimes, incorrect default app settings can affect how thumbnails are generated and displayed. Reviewing and adjusting these settings can help resolve any conflicts and enable smooth thumbnail display.

Lastly, reviewing and adjusting advanced system settings in Windows can provide additional options to optimize thumbnail display. These settings allow you to fine-tune various aspects of your system, including thumbnail generation and display. Taking the time to review and adjust these settings according to your preferences can further enhance your Windows 11 experience.

Performing a Windows 11 SFC scan can also be beneficial in troubleshooting thumbnail display issues. The SFC (System File Checker) scan checks for missing or corrupted system files and repairs them if necessary. By ensuring the integrity of system files, the SFC scan can help resolve any potential conflicts affecting thumbnail generation and display.

By following these additional steps and troubleshooting methods, you can overcome any obstacles and ensure that thumbnails are displayed seamlessly on your Windows 11 system.

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Abdul Rahim has been working in Information Technology for over two decades. Learn how Abdul got his start as a Tech Blogger , and why he decided to start this Software blog. If you want to send Abdul a quick message, then visit his contact page here.