Fix Icon Display Problems by Rebuilding the Windows 7 Thumbnail Cache

By Lowell Heddings on April 22nd, 2010

Have you ever been browsing through photos or videos on your PC, and noticed that the thumbnails weren’t showing up properly? Sometimes they get corrupted, and you can quickly rebuild them to fix the problem.

Just for some background, let’s walk through what we’re talking about. Normally, when you’re browsing around your files, you’ll see thumbnails for pictures and videos that you are viewing. These thumbnails are all generated, and stored in a cache to make browsing files faster.


But sometimes… the cache gets corrupted, and we need to rebuild them. Here’s an example of what happens when it goes out of whack…


Rebuilding the Windows 7 Thumbnail Cache

All you have to do is open up Disk Cleanup through the start menu search box (just type in disk cleanup to find it)


Just make sure that Thumbnails is checked, and then click OK to run through the cleaning process.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 04/22/10
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