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I would like to inspect images in Windows Explorer on W7 in greater detail on a big screen. Thumbnails are by default limited to ~ 256x256 px. Is there a way to increase the upper bound or some 3rd party solution? Intensive googling didn't help.

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The largest thumbnails supported in Windows Explorer are 256x256 pixels. Beyond that you need to use a 3rd party program like ACDSee. In ACDSee, the size of the thumbnails in the thumbnail view is limited to 320 pixel. For larger thumbnails you can include this into your registry:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\ACD Systems\ACDSee Pro\40]

This gives the choice to move the thumbnail size slider from 25 up to 1024 pixels.

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Thanks for the hint, but I actually meant 3rd party solution integrated into Windows Explorer. I currently use free IrfanView's thumbnails app with thumbnails up to 800x800 and many additional powerful features. – Palmstrom May 14 '12 at 12:47
The largest thumbnails supported in Windows Explorer are 256x256 pixels. How? Where? Why? It is hard-coded somewhere in explorer.exe? Maybe there's a way to hack it bigger. I really don't see why there should be any technical reason for it to not be possible to be bigger, the re-sizing algorithm should work just fine for bigger thumbnails, it's just a matter of hacking Explorer. Damn, now I have yet another project to add to my list. ಠ_ಠ – Synetech Jul 29 '15 at 19:48

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