I can open them in browser just OK, but how can I have thumbnails in the Windows Explorer?

Edit: I installed Renesis Player as suggested by this answer, but it does not work for me, probably because I have 64-bit system.

  • 7
    There is an official Windows Feedback suggestion you can vote on for this feature: aka.ms/Eoucpm – mikemaccana Jun 20 '17 at 9:06
  • 2
    That feedback link didn't open for me. This is the same issue except it's one I could access aka.ms/R2boai – Daniel Tonon Nov 28 '17 at 4:47

Use this awesome SVG thumbnail shell extension which works fine in Windows 7 & Windows 8 & Windows 10 (both 64-bit and 32-bit):

Extension module for Windows Explorer to render SVG thumbnails, so that you can have an overview of your SVG files.

It is open source and free - what more can you ask for?

If you still have problems to view the thumbnails after installing this shell extension please refer to these instructions how to reset your icon cache in Windows 7/8.

On Windows 10 after installing try changing your SVG file association (the "Open With"). By changing it something somehow gets refreshed and it starts working.

  • 6
    Yes, there are some issues related to refresh. You will need to delete your icon cache (sevenforums.com/tutorials/49819-icon-cache-rebuild.html) and say your prayers. – Mike Nakis Oct 30 '13 at 13:37
  • 8
    I eventually managed to get it to work by removing thumbnails in Disk Cleanup, scripts didn't work for me. – eggbert Nov 18 '16 at 17:21
  • 2
    CCleaner helped me clearing the icon/thumbnail cache. – Hugo H Jan 31 '17 at 12:25
  • 11
    As people have stated in the CodePlex dicussions area - after installing you should change your file association (the "Open With"). By changing it something somehow gets refreshed and it starts working. Nothing else needs to be done other than that. Works fine for me on Win10 64bit – DAG Aug 10 '17 at 18:41
  • 9
    CodePlex is shutting down, but you can still find the installer binaries here: code.google.com/archive/p/svg-explorer-extension/downloads – matt lohkamp Feb 10 '18 at 1:36

In regards to the answer given by geo, in the event someone needs to rebuild the IconCache.db and wants to give a go at not needing to reboot try the following batch.


TASKKILL /IM explorer* /F
DEL "%localappdata%\IconCache.db" /A
  • 1
    Thanks for this! I should have mentioned in my response that the steps I gave were the "official" steps given by Microsoft. I too have found that killing 'explorer' and simply restarting it works, but I wanted to give the official instructions. – geo Mar 11 '15 at 1:37
  • 1
    Or if you don't want to create a .bat file and have your system reboot, open a command prompt (as admin) and run this: TASKKILL /IM explorer* /F & DEL "%LOCALAPPDATA%\IconCache.db" /A & explorer.exe – Greg K Jul 27 '18 at 14:34
  • Win 10 x64: I ran Greg K's script from comment and had to run Disk Cleanup clearing the Icon Thumbnails. And that worked. – cederlof Apr 30 at 6:47

Adobe Illustrator isn't the only way to do this, nor is it the best way to do this.

See the post by @Deckard above...

Follow the link he provided to the SVG Explorer Extension. Download and install Dotz Software SVG Explorer Extension, aka DSSEE.

Once installed, open Task Manager and kill all instances of explorer.exe. From the Task Manager menu, choose File->Run new task menu. In the dialog box, simply type explorer and hit OK.

NOTE: Please do the above step only if you're comfortable with killing and restarting processes through the Task Manager. If not, then simply reboot your system so that the new explorer extension can load.

From then on, all SVG images will show up as thumbnails in Windows Explorer.

This extension has worked perfectly for me on both Win7_x64 and Win8_x64! In fact, I was recently pleasantly surprised to learn that it displays thumbnails for compressed SVGZ images as seamlessly as it does the non-compressed versions.

NOTE (2014/07/17):

Per the comment by John Rasch, if you can't see the SVG thumbnails after following the steps above, you can clear your icon cache using the following batch file:


TASKKILL /IM explorer* /F
DEL "%LOCALAPPDATA%\IconCache.db" /A
shutdown /r /f /t 5 /d 02:04

Copy this to RebuildIconCache.bat and run it as Administrator. It will kill all Windows Explorer processes, which is required before you can delete the icon cache, then delete the icon cache, and, finally, reboot your system.

EDIT (2015/12/08):

As noted by @user1698811 below, the last line, "shutdown /r /f /t 5 /d 02:04", can simply be replaced with "explorer.exe", getting rid of the need to reboot.

EDIT (2015/03/10):

I know this question was asked about Windows 7, but I thought it would be useful to add instructions for Windows 8 and above...

Windows 8 introduced a new icon and thumbnail cache system. Instead of a single file containing the entire icon cache, Windows 8 uses multiple cache files, based on the size and type of icon. These files are stored in "%LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer". As an example, that directory on my system includes the following files:

iconcache_16.db         thumbcache_16.db
iconcache_32.db         thumbcache_32.db
iconcache_48.db         thumbcache_48.db
iconcache_96.db         thumbcache_96.db
iconcache_256.db        thumbcache_256.db
iconcache_1024.db       thumbcache_1024.db
iconcache_exif.db       thumbcache_exif.db
iconcache_idx.db        thumbcache_idx.db
iconcache_sr.db         thumbcache_sr.db
iconcache_wide.db       thumbcache_wide.db

As a result, in order to clear the icon cache in Windows 8 or above, you would need to delete all of the 'iconcache_*.db' files in the above directory.

Note that, in addition to the above files, Windows 8 still retains the "%LOCALAPPDATA%\IconCache.db" file. I honestly don't know if this file is used or not, but, to be thorough, it would be best to continue to delete that file as well.

Therefore, for Windows 8 and above, we have the RebuildIconCache8.bat file as follows:


TASKKILL /IM explorer* /F
DEL "%LOCALAPPDATA%\IconCache.db" /A
DEL "%LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer\iconcache_*.db" /A
shutdown /r /f /t 5 /d 02:04

or as @user1698811 suggested:


TASKKILL /IM explorer* /F
DEL "%LOCALAPPDATA%\IconCache.db" /A
DEL "%LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer\iconcache_*.db" /A

which resets the icon cache without having to reboot.

  • 2
    For anyone else who still cannot see the icons after these steps (including rebooting), I also had to go to Disk Cleanup and select Thumbnails to delete the existing cached thumbnails. – John Rasch Jul 16 '14 at 15:46
  • It's a real downer that the original site does not offer install instructions as good as yours – BillyTom Dec 4 '15 at 8:15
  • 1
    My icon cache files were in use. So deleting them didn't work. – Ian Grainger Feb 17 '17 at 15:14
  • CarstenSchmitz's solution is much easier. You just need to install an application and restart in his case. – Sergey Larin Aug 23 '17 at 20:10
  • You can run this from a command prompt (as admin) without rebooting with this one liner: TASKKILL /IM explorer* /F & DEL "%LOCALAPPDATA%\IconCache.db" /A & explorer.exe – Greg K Jul 27 '18 at 14:33
  1. Download & install the latest svg viewer extension (32 or 64-bit)
  2. Download & run the rebuild_icon_cache.bat (if you still cannot see the thumbs)
  3. Reboot your system

This works on Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit.

  • 1
    Many thanks - just doing step 1 worked perfectly for me. – Felix Eve Sep 10 '14 at 23:36
  • link of #2 doesn't exist anymore. – android developer Dec 21 '16 at 7:44

Codeplex no longer has the download for the binary there anymore. Use the github built version.



After downloading and clicking through the installer, then open an admin command prompt and run:

TASKKILL /IM explorer* /F
DEL "%localappdata%\IconCache.db" /A

Hope that helps.


You could try the RENESIS Player Browser Plugins.


  • This does not work on 64-bit Windows versions. – Carsten Schmitz Apr 7 '15 at 9:37

If you are using Windows 7 64bit, you have only one way to see thumbnails:

Open (install) Adobe Illustrator trial, then press File > Open and change to a thumbnail view of your SVG files, and it will show all your SVGs.

  • Thanks. But are there other software which has this feature? Perhaps open-sourse Inkscape? – Zotov Nov 8 '11 at 18:41
  • No, sorry. Inkscape cannot do this. I have been on the lookout for such a software myself for quite some time. – Carsten Schmitz Nov 12 '11 at 17:23
  • 2
    This is how to see a preview of thumbnails of the SVG within Illustrator and not in an explorer.exe window, as the question asked. – Mahmoud Al-Qudsi Dec 26 '16 at 20:58

protected by Mokubai Mar 30 '16 at 20:49

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.