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How To Show Thumbnails Of Images

Often, when you open a folder that has images (pictures) inside it, Windows will show you the files or file names, rather than thumbnails of the images. That’s OK for the computer, but it’s not what we want. We need to able to see the thumbnails, the pictures themselves.

So to make Windows show the thumbnails we’ll have to give it a little nudge in the right direction.

Image Thumbnails.

It’s easier to show you what I mean.

Here I’ve opened my Pictures folder, inside I’ve got several pictures (images), but I can’t see them.

All I can see is the names of the pictures, which mean nothing to me.

That’s completely useless to me, and I suspect, to you also. We simply don’t know the file names of our images. What we need is to be able to see the actual image, the picture. That would make life far easier for us.


This is how I want to view my picture files when I open a folder.

Seeing the thumbnails of my pictures makes far more sense.


How To Quickly Show Thumbnails.

When you’re inside a folder and you want to see the thumbnails of the images inside it, click VIEW, which is near the top of the page.


The View options panel will open.

Currently, List view is selected.

Click either Medium, Large or Extra Large Icons and the thumbnails of your images will appear.


When you click Medium, Large or Extra Large Icons, Windows will show you the respective thumbnails of your images.

The option should also be applied to all the subfolders inside this folder, and Windows should remember your choice.

So from now on, whenever you open this folder, you should see thumbnails of your pictures instead of simply their file names.

But that only applies to the folder your viewing or working in. It doesn’t apply to all your other folders.

So in my example, I’ve been looking at my Pictures folder, and thumbnails are now showing in that particular folder.


But when I hop over to my Documents folder. No thumbnails.

I’ll just have to change the view options in this folder too.

For some reason, Windows really doesn’t like showing thumbnails of images.

You’ll find that in some folders, the thumbnails will just appear without you having to do anything, but in others (usually the ones you want thumbnails) they won’t.

Changing the View option to show Medium, Large or Extra Large Icons should fix the problem. And Windows should remember your choice and show you thumbnails whenever you return to that folder.


Thumbnails Still Not Showing?

If changing the view option to show Medium, Large or Extra Large icons didn’t work for you and your still not seeing your image thumbnails. Then it could be that there’s another setting that you need to change.

In this example, I’m inside my Pictures folder.

I’ve changed the view option to show “Extra Large Icons”, but still no thumbnails.

Don’t you just love a hidden setting. Something buried somewhere out of view, somewhere you’d just never think of looking.

I think you’d agree it’s what makes computer so exciting to work on.


Click the VIEW button again and then on the panel, click the OPTIONS button, which is to the far right-hand side of the panel.


When you click the OPTIONS button, you might see “Change folder and search options” appear.

If you do, click it.

That’ll open the Folder Options dialogue window, which is what we want.


Or you might just see the Folder Options window appear. Either way, you’re in the right place.


On the Folder Options window, click the VIEW tab, which is across the top of the window.


On the View tab, take the tick out of “Always show icons, never thumbnails”.

You take the tick out (deselect) by clicking in the box.

To be clear, We don’t want a tick in the box.

When you’ve taken the tick out of the box, click the OK button.


And your picture thumbnails should appear.

Sometimes, you’ll need to restart your machine for this action to take effect, so if the thumbnails don’t appear right away, restart and that should solve the issue.

Ahh, the computer doesn’t hate me after all.


Show Thumbnails When Opening A File From Within A Program.

Sometimes, when you’re working on a document, and you want to insert an image into it, you click insert, or maybe open, navigate to the folder where your image is, and again you’re not seeing thumbnails.


Click the drop-down arrow on the Change View button.

It’s very small and difficult to see, but it will be there.


When you click the drop-down arrow, a small menu will open.

Click either Medium, Large or Extra Large Icons and your thumbnails will appear.


That’s better, now I can see my pictures I can choose the right one.

Easy when you know how.

Next Page

Tagging Your Photos

Organise your pictures by adding tags to them. Tags work like keywords, letting you use Windows search features to find the pics you want quickly.

The last page of Chapter 2.

  1. Tag Pictures

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