Foxit PDF, doesn't have a shell extension to display thumbnails of PDF files in Windows Explorer (the thumbnails are shown instead of PDF document icons).

Is there a shell extension that do that? i.e to see thumbnails instead of PDF icon.

BTW, PDFXchange and Adobe have a shell extension such that the thumbnails are shown instead of PDF document icons.


As an update to this question, Foxit actually has a shell extension in the Reader now, so there's no longer any need to install Adobe alongside.


For all the solutions I've come across, it basically comes down to using the Adobe icon handler in some way or another since it handles pdf thumbnail previews well. There is no Foxit built-in for this as of yet.

Here's a method which involves a bit of registry editing on Vista:

  1. Install Adobe Reader 8.1.2. Other versions might work, but I can't confirm. We'll be using Adobe's icon handler, since it works.

  2. Set Foxit to be your default PDF viewer. I'm using version 3.0. This step ensures that PDFs still open with Foxit Reader.

  3. Open your registry and add the information below: these edits change the Foxit association to use the Adobe icon handlers.

  4. OPTIONAL: Run Disk Cleanup. Deselect everything except "Thumbnails." This deletes all of your old thumbnails & forces a refresh to the new icon handler.

  5. I couldn't get this method to work using the default 64-bit Windows Explorer. However, there are two 32-bit methods that work perfectly. If you're running 32-bit Vista, you can probably skip this step.

    • Install xplorer2 32-bit. PDF thumbnails show up in both the main Pane (in "Thumbnail" icon view), and in the Preview pane (both Draft and Native).

    • Create a shortcut to: "C:\Windows\SysWOW64\explorer.exe /separate". This is a shortcut to the 32-bit version of Windows Explorer. PDF thumbnails appear in Medium, Large, Extra Large, and Tiles views.

  6. Open one of the files, to make sure it still opens in Foxit Reader.


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