I've installed the default VLC player to decode my .mp4 files but I'd like to enable a thumbnail view in the explorer. All I see at the moment is the traffic cone (the default icon for files associated with VLC).

Possibly related are these Windows 7 questions, but I'm not sure what carries over:

How can I generate thumbnail previews for FLV files in Windows 7?

How to generate thumbnails for less common video containers (mkv, ogm, mp4, flv, rmvb and mov) in windows 7 explorer?


This Software claims to support Windows 8 and do what you need.

  • 32-bit editions of Windows XP SP2, Vista, 7, 8 CP or later
  • 64-bit editions of Windows XP SP2, Vista, 7, 8 CP or later require the 64-bit installer

  • Small footprint and does not install codecs


enter image description here .

How To article here and comments from the author

  • I’d also like to mention that this software does not require codecs and as such is vastly more stable than others


  • at the moment of this comment (October 2014), it continue to works on windows vista 64bit. – Matteo Bononi 'peorthyr' Oct 20 '14 at 15:58
  • Wow, this program is awesome! Thanks so much it works perfectly on Windows 7 64 bit even inside Xyplorer. However note that it does not select any file formats by default - you must configure it after install to choose the formats you want. – Syclone0044 Jul 25 '15 at 3:40
  • This looks awesome. However last updated 2 years ago. I can only imagine how many exploitable security vulnerabilities lurk in this 2 year unpatched video decoders. And it gets activated without you even opening the file. I don't feel good about this software. Any maintained alternative? – user643011 Aug 31 '16 at 11:10

The Shark007 page looked a bit fishy to be (no pun intended) and I couldn't figure out which version I needed (advanced, standard, do I need the 64 bit addon?). So I installed the good old K-Lite codec pack. The advantage is that it not only instantly gives you thumbnails, you can play basically every media file you find with every media player (including WMP). Another benefit for me is that there is nothing you have to configure. I have never found any instability or crashes with it, and I have been using it on and off since the days it was called "KaZaA Lite Codec Pack" :-)

If you have Chocolatey, which is an awesome package manager for windows, its just cinst k-litecodecpackbasic.


The page for Shark007's Windows 8 Codecs claims:

MKV playback is fully supported including thumbnailing.
You can choose any media player you want, everything will play.

Things the Shark pack does that other packs cannot do . . .

  1. Full color thumbnails including FLV's and 10bit MKV's (also allows users to select at what point by percentage to grab the thumbnail)

Icaros is the soft you need, and it's made by this Shark007 guy from the other answers.

Official page: http://shark007.net/tools.html

Download page: http://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/icaros.html


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