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I would be very thankful for advice on how to delete the thumb cache files in Windows Vista without a reboot.

They are stored in this folder:


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migrated from Jan 18 '11 at 19:41

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

Turn off thumb caching, then turn it back on

Not all versions of Vista-W7 have Group Policy Editor though.

Another trick is to open task manager and an elevated (administrator) command prompt, leave both open, on the process tab, kill explorer.exe, use the command prompt to delete the files, then use task manager and do a File >New Task >type in explorer.exe to load you desktop again.

This article shows how to do it at boot, but just use the method above to do it without rebooting.

If there is a permissions error when trying to delete, you may have to take ownership of the files first.


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Hello Moab, thanks!!! a million times. It seems I can not "select your answer" as solved as the question got migrated from the other site. Thanks you helped me so much, i search so long and didnt find any good solution and these tricks are great!!! thanks! – user63714 Jan 19 '11 at 4:32
You are welcome :-) – Moab Jan 19 '11 at 4:34

An easy solution i found: go to


and delete the thumbcache*.db using unlocker.

explorer will hang up for a few seconds, but then reload all the thumbs.

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