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I was looking in a folder while downloading a batch of images. About 1/4 of the images have bad thumbnails (its mostly or partially grey).

How do i reset/delete them? I tried being clever and moved them to a different folder which it showed correctly. But renamed it to the old folder because of archive, app and batch reasons. But then the thumbs are bad again.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Under disk cleanup, there is a section for deleting thumbnails. This will clear your thumbnail cache.

Here are the basic steps:

  1. Open Disk Cleanup
  2. In the files to delete, check the Thumbnails box, and click on OK.
  3. Click on the Delete Files button.

Here is the source of those steps -

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Please include, at least, the main points in your answer instead of just giving a link. Linkrot is always a problem in the long run. See – Mehper C. Palavuzlar Dec 7 '10 at 22:03
Answer edited...thanks for the heads up! – Ben Jones Dec 7 '10 at 22:56

Check folder for thumbs.db file and delete it.

Since this file is both system and hidden you will need to show those files. In Explorer press and go to Tools -> Folder options. There select "Show hidden files, folders and drives" and uncheck "Hide protected operating system files". Once you do this, you should be able to see this file and delete it.

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the workaround i did would have solved that but thumbs reverted bc i renamed the folder. windows7 doesnt use thumbs.db but stores it someplace outside the folder – acidzombie24 Dec 8 '10 at 7:09

In the top right hand of the Windows Explorer window, there is a drop-down menu that lets you change the size of image thumbnails. Whenever you change the thumnail size, it forces Windows to regenerate the thumbnails. Then when you change back to the previous size thumbnails, it is still fixed.

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A quick visit to %localappdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer should convince you this is not true – Mark Sowul Jun 19 '12 at 20:01
I found out what it really does. Whenever you change the size in Explorer, it forces it to re-render the thumbnail for that size, but it does not commit the new renders to the respective thumbnail_[size].db file. Then, when you refresh the view (press F5) it loads the thumbnails from the long-term cache and overwrites the generated ones. Very dumb behavior, tbh. Microsux you sux. So, yes, it works, kinda, but not really. – user141156 Jun 19 '12 at 21:21
I tried deleting those thumbcache_[size].db files using explorer as well as del /F in the command line. It claims access is denied. I own those files, and the Access Controls are set properly for me to delete them. Odd. I will try deleting them in command line after killing explorer.exe. Well I could delete them after killing explorer.exe, but that is extremely inconvenient. Microsoft should fix this, but everyone knows they never will, because "it costs too much" (B.S.) or "it works fine the way it is." (also B.S.) or what it really is, "we like charging for crappy software." – user141156 Jun 19 '12 at 21:42
Use disk cleanup like the accepted answer says...... – acidzombie24 Jun 19 '12 at 22:36
acidzombie, DiskCleanup doesn't work. That solution is not a solution. The only thing that shows up in Disk Cleanup is the Recycle Bin. Microsoft may have removed the functionality to clear the cache db. Microsoft always knows what's best for us, though, so I wouldn't ever bother challenging their choices. I mean, it's not like I could ever be smarter than a trillionaire corporation that sells broken software. – user141156 Jun 20 '12 at 6:16

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