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:
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
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. http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/55728-file-delete-command-prompt.html
If there is a permissions error when trying to delete, you may have to take ownership of the files first. http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/how-to-delete-a-system-file-in-windows-vista/