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Does anyone know if there is a way to force Windows Explorer (under Windows 7) to display image thumbnails like Windows XP does?

There's a reason for this apparent lunacy: I spend a significant amount of time looking at version-controlled directories of icon-size images. The CVS status icon overlay gets in the way when viewing as S/M/L/XL icons, and the Tile option increases the thumbnail size, thus blurring the image. Windows XP displays image thumbnails as a normal size icon within a large empty square, and helpfully puts the CVS overlay out of the way of the image, thus making it infinitely easier to look at the actual images and pick the one I need.

Below are some images to illustrate what I mean. The Windows 7 medium icons view is the best of a bad bunch. The differences may not seem critical, but the Windows 7 view quickly gets annoying when I have to refer to it a lot of the time.

Windows XP thumbnail view of images:

Windows XP

Windows 7 medium icons view of images:

Windows 7

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Can you provide images describing your problem - before and after? – timbooo May 11 '11 at 8:01
@timbooo - have added images as requested, thanks – dartacus May 11 '11 at 8:48
up vote 0 down vote accepted

As an alternative solution to your problem you can:

  • temporarily or permanently remove the shortcut icon overlay. Here's how.
  • make it smaller (using the same app above)
  • change with something else (using 3rd party apps such as tuneup utilities)
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Thanks. It's not the native shortcut overlay causing the problem but the overlays applied by my CVS client - I can turn them off easily enough but even so the view is hardly ideal. I think I'm going to give in on this and just make a copy of the folders not under CVS control and with only images in them - it's not so bad then. – dartacus May 11 '11 at 9:33
How about Windows XP Mode? – Gani Simsek May 11 '11 at 10:01
Interesting, but probably overkill just for this. I've written a vbs script that recursively deletes anything that isn't a .png file, and run that on a copy of the folders as a workaround. In the meantime, accepting this answer thread. – dartacus May 11 '11 at 10:34
Many thanks for your time. – dartacus May 11 '11 at 10:35

What you need is a thumbnail generator like Mystic Thumbs:

MysticThumbs generates thumbnails of many image formats not natively supported by Windows.

It plugs into Windows Explorer so you don't have to run a separate application to preview your images, see them all in the native shell and Open/Save dialog boxes in all 32 and 64 bit applications! enter image description here

I swear by it. I have huge collections of images, mostly DDS (which Windows can't preview), that I peruse on a regular basis.

It's worth every penny; try the demo and see if it helps you out.

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Now that's interesting. I'll try the trial. – dartacus Jun 6 '11 at 15:26

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