Guidelines To Disable Video/ Media Thumbnail Preview Generation In Windows XP

Thumbnail Preview for files containing pictures, videos, images, photos, HTML pages or other media clips enables you to view the file contents without the need to open them. Windows XP comes with the ability to automatically generate such thumbnail previews with a suitable format which is supported by the OS.

This image/ media preview is normally displayed on the left side of Windows Explorer within the “Details” pane. You will also be able to see an image preview if you try to view the file in Thumbnails view. Some users however do not prefer automatic thumbnail and preview generation while browsing the files.

As the preview hides the file icon, users are unable to instantly identify the extension or format of the files. For E.g. if the file happens to be a video, the user is unable to make out whether it is of .wmv, .mpg or .avi format. Moreover, thumbnail preview process may decelerate file listing process while accessing a folder containing video files.

Sometimes, the preview on corrupted or no codec video/ movie clip (i.e. partial download with no index) may prevent users from renaming, moving or deleting the file till it is completely loaded and lead to system problems like freezing due to 100% CPU utilization or no response from Windows XP.

If you do not wish to have thumbnail previews for video/ movie files, you can disable, remove or turn off media and video thumbnail preview in XP. This will enable you to fix the above mentioned issues. You just need to follow the below mentioned steps.

  1. To open the Command Prompt window, simply go to the Start Menu and choose the “Run” option.
  2. Within the Run box, type “Cmd”.
  3. Command Prompt window will appear. Just type in the following command into it and press “Enter” key.

regsvr32 /u shmedia.dll

You need to note that the command above will disable the thumbnail preview and it will no longer be displayed for any of the movie, video or other media files. You will also not be able to see summary properties within the tooltip as well as file properties dialog incase of WMA, ASF, AVI, WMV and WAV files.

However, if you wish to turn on or re-enable the thumbnail preview anytime in future, you can use the below mentioned command in the command prompt:

regsvr32 shmedia.dll

This trick can be applied only for disabling thumbnail preview generation for video or media files. However, a separate process needs to be followed to disable thumbnail preview generation for photos and images.


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