How to Disable Thumbnail Previews in Windows 10 / 8.1 / 7

This post will show you how to disable thumbnails on windows so that they no longer appear when browsing folders with Windows 10/8/7 installed on your PC

A thumbnail preview is a small image that appears next to your file name in Explorer. It’s supposed to make it easier for you to find the right file, but sometimes these previews can become really annoying.

If you’ve ever tried searching for one specific file among thousands of others and found yourself scrolling through page after page of thumbnails, you know what I’m talking about.

Fortunately, whether you’re using Windows 10/8.1/7, there’s a quick solution to turn off thumbnail previews and regain back your peace and productivity.

Disable Thumbnail Previews In Windows

Remember that the way this works will be slightly different if you’re looking at network or library folders (Favorites or Homegroup).

So we’ll start by showing you how to disable thumbnails on regular files and then look at what to do when viewing network and library folders.

Disable Thumbnail Previews in Windows Through Regular Folders

If you’re looking to disable thumbnail previews on your local hard drive, here’s what you need to do:

1. Open any folder and then go up a level by clicking one of the arrows at the top-left or by pressing Ctrl + Up. 

You must be viewing regular folders, not libraries or networked ones (Favorites or Homegroup).

2. Right-click anywhere on empty space and select Folder options from the context menu. Alternatively, press (Alt+Enter) for the properties window directly.

3. In the General tab make sure that Always show icons, never thumbnails is checked and hit OK

If you want to revert this change later on, just uncheck that option again and hit OK.

Disable Thumbnails in Network Folders

In case you’re using a Homegroup or any other network, disabling thumbnail previews will depend on what is set up as a home folder for each user.

If this is your own PC and you want to turn off thumbnails everywhere, follow these steps:

1. Open File Explorer and go to This PC.

2. Right-click on the Local Disk (C:)  to open its properties window and hit Change settings of all folders from the General tab under Advanced Settings.   

3. In the Folder Options screen, select Don’t show thumbnails under Thumbnails, hit Apply and then Ok.

That’s it!

You can now view your folders just fine without having those annoying images slowing you down.

Note that if your PC is not the home one for you (i.e. it’s shared by other users) then you might need to follow different steps.

In this case, follow steps 1 and 2 above and go to step 3. In the Advanced Attribute Settings screen under Thumbnails click on Settings. 

Just uncheck both options – Show thumbnails and specify a custom image size for each folder location. Hit Apply, OK  for the changes to take effect across your network folders.

Disabling Thumbnail Previews in Libraries

Now let’s look at disabling preview images when using libraries (Favorites or Homegroup) :

1. Open File Explorer and right-click on any library (Computer or another one you’re using).

2. Hit Properties from the context menu; alternatively, press Alt+Enter  and skip to step 3 onwards.   

3. On the Location tab, click on Advanced and select “Don’t include this in the library” in the drop-down list under: Include a folder and its contents (uncheck). hit Apply and then hit OK.

Once you’re done with that you should be able to browse your libraries without thumbnails slowing you down.


We hope this quick tutorial was useful for making your computer life much more productive by speeding things up.

There’s no need to go back to Explorer view when dealing with regular files; change them all back to Details instead, make sure Thumbnails is unchecked and everything will run smoothly again!

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