View Full Version : all about the thumbnail view, how windows generates the thumbnails views....

10-13-2010, 07:20 AM
In this tutorial you will learn all about the thumbnail view, how windows generates the thumbnails views, how to refresh a thumbnail and how to change the thumbnail of folder. If you are a speed reader this tutorial will cost only a couple of minutes although it can give you some useful concepts.

The Thumbnail View
In Microsoft windows there is a built-in and useful feature that it displays representation of files and folders in Windows explorer, which is called Thumbnail View The thumbnail view is only possible when Thumbnails view is turned on from Windows explorer, if not follow these steps to turn it.
i. In the windows explorer (any folder), Click Views, a small menu will be
ii. Choose thumbnails from displayed menu.
Fig: Choose thumbnail, from Views

How Windows Generates Thumbnails

The thumbnail view of different files and folders are slightly unlike.

The thumbnail of a picture file will be as same as picture, either it is in the root or sub-directory where it can’t be changed.
The thumbnail of a video file will be the first frame of the video, either it is in the root or sub-directory while it can’t be changed.
The thumbnail of the others files’ format such as audio files , document files, programs files etc are in form of associate icons in the standard version of Windows XP but there are some version of windows (Vista) that still can give you the thumbnail preview of the document files i.e. Text files, Word files, PowerPoint files and etc.
Windows also support the thumbnail view of some graphic files such as Corel Draw files, Photoshop files, and etc.
The thumbnail of the folder depends on the contents in it; windows automatically generates the thumbnail view of a folder from images or first frame of videos in it whereas it can be changed. Windows assign randomly four images or four first frames of videos for the thumbnail of folders where we can assign only one image for the thumbnail of a folder.
There are also some exceptions for personalized folder such as My Music, My Pictures and My Videos from My Documents folder because these folders have been modified by a “Configuration Settings” file naming “Desktop.ini”.

Fig: From right to left, audio file in icon form, two video files in thumbnail views of first frame,picture file in thumbnail view, folder contains images, folder contains video.

Refresh a Thumbnail View

Isn’t so weird and wonderful when you don’t have a picture in a folder but windows still displays it as the thumbnail?
Yes, it is consequently because windows once generates the thumbnail view for folder never refreshes itself and still displays the picture in thumbnail whether the picture is available or not. Don’t be bothered you can force windows to do it for you just in a few clicks.
i. Right Click on the folder for which you want to refresh the thumbnail view.
ii. Choose “Refresh Thumbnail” from appeared menu. Now windows will regenerate the thumbnail view.

You are required to repeat these steps every time when you want to refresh the thumbnail view. I recommend doing it in case you delete the contents of a folder.

Change The Thumbnail of Folder

As we discussed earlier, the thumbnails of files can’t be changed (this can be possible in case of setup setting file) while as for as changing the thumbnail of a folder is also essential for some cases but sorry to say that we can assign only one image to a folder thumbnail, besides we are obliged to assign image also for a folder containing videos whereas windows is capable of assigning four images or first four frame of videos to a folder thumbnail. Follow these few steps in order to change the thumbnail of a folder.
i. Open the folder for which you want to change the thumbnail.
ii. Right click in the folder (not on file), it will cause a menu to be displayed.
iii. Choose “Customize This Folder” from displayed menu. After a new
windows dialog appears, go to next step to make some changes.
iv. Click on “Choose Picture” button. The open dialog appears.
v. Now locate the picture file. This can be any file from any location.
vi. After choosing file click “apply” and then click “OK” to close the dialog.
vii. Go back and you will see the new thumbnail.
If you aren’t fond of it anymore, want to revert to the default thumbnail or you just have written “Old is gold” on your shirt, repeat steps from i to iii and click on “Restore Default” button and then click “OK”. After doing so will give the default (previous) thumbnail of the folder.

10-13-2010, 10:52 AM
Thanks Dear very good info about thumbnail view