Disabling Thumbnail Preview Creation in Vista

When you view a file using Windows Explorer in Windows Vista, a thumbnail cache is generated automatically irrespective of the type of view that is enabled in the particular folder that you are currently in. This is done for all files, and it does not matter whether it is an image, a PDF document or a setup file.

Typically, thumbnail previews are required for the Extra Large, Large, and Medium Icons view-types. And although the Small Icons, Details, and List view-types do not entail a thumbnail preview of the file, on opening a folder using Windows Explorer, the thumbnail cache generation is carried out all the same. In fact, the green progress meter that slides along the address bar while the folder is being opened shows the progress of this thumbnail creation process.

However, this process of generating thumbnail previews slows down your Vista computer, and has a severe effect on the computer’s performance. Imagine trying to open a folder that contains thousands of movies, videos, images, and other graphics. It will take ages for that folder to open with the thumbnail generation going on.

A good idea to resolve this issue is to disable thumbnail creation. You can easily do this by the following steps:

  1. Open the Windows Explorer. [Simply open Computer, or Documents, or some folder of your choice.]
  2. Just below the address bar, towards the left, you can see the Organize button that has a small arrow with it for a drop down menu.
  3. Clicking on Organize, a drop-down menu shows up, and you have to select the Folder and Search Options in this menu.
  4. A dialog will pop-up called Folder Options. Select the View tab.
  5. You will see an Advanced Settings menu, where the first option is typically Always show icons, never thumbnails. Select (tick) the check-box next to this option.

Click OK.


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