I have a folder of RAW .NEF photos which my Windows 10 PC isn't showing the thumbnails for in File Explorer (for this folder only - and actually it is showing thumbnails for only a few random ones).

(These particular photos were taken with a Nikon D610 that I borrowed - higher resolution than more normal camera - but I don't think this should have anything to do with it. I have a copy on an external hard drive, and the thumbnails are showing properly when I plug that in.)

I tried:

  • changing the default program for .NEF images to Photoshop and back to the Windows Photos app
  • using disk cleanup to delete all thumbnails
  • changing the thumbnail size

None of these solved the problem.

Adobe Bridge shows thumbnails properly for this folder.

I don't know if it's anything to do with having turned on Files on Demand for OneDrive after the Fall Creators Update (the folder in question is in my OneDrive folder). I can't remember if I had a problem with these thumbnails before I updated, but I don't think so.

Update: I think this is a problem with OneDrive Files on Demand in File Explorer. I've noticed that thumbnail generation is pretty slow across the board or my OneDrive folders. Thumbnails don't seem to persist for more than a few days. I sometimes see a flash of thumbnails before it re-generates all of them in the folder.

Does anyone know how I can force thumbnail generation?

  • It seems that "Microsoft Camera Codec Pack" would solve the problem, but this is not available on Windows after 8.1. There seem to be some commercial solutions, but these aren't free.
    – AFH
    Oct 30, 2017 at 13:55
  • Do you have a N edition of Windows 10 by chance?
    – Ramhound
    Oct 30, 2017 at 14:00
  • I've re-ordered the question a bit to emphasise that it's only this one folder that's having the problem (and not the copy of the folder on the external HD)
    – binaryfunt
    Oct 30, 2017 at 15:20

1 Answer 1


One way to force File Explorer appears to be to open each photo individually - but this is exceedingly tedious.

Another way I have figured out is to navigate to the folder in the Windows Photos app, then scroll about lots. This seems to generate thumbnails in File Explorer. However, the thumbnails generated in this way have disappeared since restarting the computer.

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