Want to clear and reset the thumbnail cache in Windows 10? Are you having issues with thumbnails? In this guide, we will see all the ways out there to clear and reset thumbnail cache in Windows 10.
What’s is a thumbnail cache?
Thumbnail cache is nothing but a copy of all of your documents, pictures, and video thumbnails stored in a file. Windows 10 generates and keeps a copy of thumbnails for all documents, video and pictures on your PC so they can be displayed without any delay when you open a folder with one of the thumbnail supported view.
In other words, whenever you open a folder containing videos, documents and pictures in thumbnail supported view, Windows uses thumbnails saved in the thumbnail cache instead of newly generating them. These thumbnail cache files help Windows display thumbnails instantly without delay.
In Windows 10, thumbnail cache files are stored under C:\Users\UserName \AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer. After navigating to the above said location, you need to uncheck the option labelled Show hidden operating system files as well as show hidden files and folders.
If Windows 10 is not properly displaying thumbnails for one or more files or if the thumbnails are corrupted, clearing the thumbnails cache should solve the issue.
3 ways to clear thumbnail cache in Windows 10
Method 1 of 3
Clear thumbnail cache using Disk cleanup
Step 1: Type Disk Cleanup in Start menu or taskbar search box and then press Enter key to open Disk Cleanup utility.
Step 2: On the drive selection screen, select your system drive (the drive where Windows 10 is installed) and then click OK button.
Step 3: When you see the following dialog, select ONLY Thumbnails, and then click OK button to delete the thumbnail cache.
Clicking OK will show you the following confirmation dialog. Before clicking the Yes button, make sure that you have selected only Thumbnails to avoid any data loss. That’s it!
Windows will automatically generate new thumbnails when required.
Method 2 of 3
Clear thumbnail cache using a third-party program
There are many free tools around to find and delete thumbnail cache files. One of them is Thumbnail Database Cleaner.
Using Thumbnail Database Cleaner to clear thumbnail files
Step 1: Download Thumbnail Database Cleaner from this page.
Step 2: Install and run the program. Click the browse button and then select the drive where Windows 10 is installed.
Step 3: Click Start search button to begin finding thumbnail cache files.
Step 4: Select all thumbnail files, and then click Clean button. That’s all!
Method 3 of 3
Use Command Prompt to clear thumbnail cache
Like other files, thumbnail cache files can also be deleted using Command Prompt. While you can use above mentioned methods to clear thumbnail cache, at times, you might need to use the Command Prompt for the same job.
Step 1: Close all running programs. Be sure to close the File Explorer as well.
Step 2: Right-click on the Start button and then click Command Prompt (Admin). Click Yes button when you see the User Account Control (UAC) prompt.
Step 3: In the Command Prompt, type the following command and press Enter key.
cd /d %userprofile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer
Step 4: Type attrib -h thumbcache_*.db and then press Enter key.
Step 5: Finally, type del thumbcache_*.db and then press Enter key to delete all thumbnail cache files.
Restart your PC once to complete the operation.
And if thumbnails are not showing, please refer to our thumbnails are not showing in Window 10 File Explorer guide.