Turning off Thumbnail caching in Windows

I have become increasingly annoyed by the Thumbnail caching in Windows particularly when using network drives.

This default function of windows supposedly makes viewing thumbnails (small pictures of a larger picture) faster – if you change your view settings to view hidden files you will notice ‘thumbs.db’ files dotted around your folders. This file contains a cache of the thumbnails so that they do not need to be created everytime you view a folder full of photos.

If, like me, you hardly use the thumbnail view – being an oldie I prefer details view instead – you find the thumbs.db file stops you from renaming and deleting folders you just created on network drives. This is because the Windows Explorer process locks the thumbs.db file continuously.

You can turn off this functionality by editing the local group policy:

  • Click the Start orb
  • Enter gpedit.msc in the search box and hit Enter.
  • Expand User Configuration – Administrative Templates – Windows Components.
  • Click on Windows Explorer.
  • Right-click the entry “Turn off the caching of thumbnails in hidden thumbs.db files” and choose Edit.
  • Enable the setting.


Author: James

IT Manager - Network, Web coding, MS SQL and Online Mapping expert

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