How to Enable Thumbnail preview images on Folders in Windows 11

Microsoft has ended support for folder thumbnail display in the latest version of Windows 11.

An image file is now shown with an ordinary folder icon. Previewing the contents of a folder was an essential thing for many people.

If you work a lot with images, you could preview the picture in a folder to immediately see if it was the correct folder in Windows 10.

Unfortunately, up to writing this article, it is not yet possible to enable an image preview in Windows 11. At least, not through Microsoft’s official settings. However, Microsoft has announced preview thumbnails in the Windows 11 22h2 release somewhere in mid-2022.

There is a tool available called “WindowsThumbnailGenerator” via GitHub that does allow you to create a preview image as an icon. You will then see a small preview of the contents of a folder containing images or video files. This app only works for photo and video files.

Below you will first see an image before using the app.

Before folder thumbnail generator

Now you will see an image after using this app. So you have an understanding of what exactly this app does.

After folder thumbnail generator

Display thumbnails of images or videos as folder icons in Windows 11

To get started, download WindowsThumbnailGenerator to your computer. Then, unzip the ZIP file and open the file “Thumbnail_generator.exe”.

Thumbnail generator app

Once the app is open, click on the “Browse” button to select the images or videos folder. Make sure that there are images placed in the selected folder.

In this folder, the app will create “thumbnails” that you will later see as examples in Windows 11.

thumbnail generator select folder

After you select the folder, you can make a few more adjustments. First, you can enable the option “Recursive”. If you allow this, the first and underlying folders will be provided with folder icons.

You can also use the “Clear Icon Cache” to remove the icon cache or enable the “Skip Existing” option to skip over already optimized folders. Finally, if you allow the last option, “Use Shorter Cover, ” smaller examples will be generated, and you will see more content.

Click Start to create the folder examples for the selected (and if enabled) underlying folders.

Start Thumbnail generator in Windows 11

Please note that this WindowsThumbnailGenerator app is not official to create folder examples for images and video folders. Error messages may occur, and there is no support from the developer.

I hope to have helped you with this article. Thank you for reading!

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