Refreshing PowerPivot Gallery thumbnails


Let's assume that for some reason something got corrupted and you want to regenerate the thumbnails for a given workbook in a PowerPivot Gallery. You can either change the properties for the workbook, which will create an event that will trigger the regeneration of the thumbnails (more details at Dave's blog here: Under the hooks, adding a new document to a SharePoint library (PowerPivot Gallery included) or modifying a document in a SharePoint document library causes SharePoint to throw either a itemAdded or itemUpdated event. The event is observed and handled by PowerPivot, which calls the GetSnapshot.exe as the farm account passing along a few parameters.

If you'd like to try it manually, open a command prompt (or PowerShell prompt) as the farm account (or login as the farm account);

Find the folder [SystemDrive]:\inetpub\wwwroot\wss\VirtualDirectories\80\bin;

Run GetSnapshot.exe with the following parameters:

GetSnapshot.exe <server> \"<DocumentPath>\" \"<OutputFolder>\"  <tempFileSeed> [<maxSnapshotCount>] [<timeoutSeconds>]






is the basis of the file name of the generated thumbnails;


is the maximum number of snapshots to be taken;



is the maximum amount of time in seconds before the process is aborted.


C:\inetpub\wwwroot\wss\VirtualDirectories\80\bin>GetSnapshot.exe "http://myserver" "http://myserver/PowerPivot Gallery/myWorkbook.xlsx" "C:\Users\marianotn\Desktop" marianotn_test 26 300


Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. The GetSnapshot.exe is part of PowerPivot for SharePoint. It’s not redistributable, and not it was not designed to be used any other way than by the PowerPivot for SharePoint system.


Comments (8)

  1. Dave Wickert (MSFT) says:

    Excellent job Mariano. A little bit of a clarification. The instructions tell you to run GetSnapshot under the farm admin service account. You can certainly do that if you want, however if you want to run it in the same environment that the event runs in, you should use the web application's app pool service account. The two accounts might be the same if you installed the PowerPivot machine as a "New Server", but does not necessarily have to be. The web application's app pool service account is key.

  2. That's very true! Thanks for pointing that out, Dave! 🙂

  3. Peng says:

    is it possible to change the default timeout value? my senarios is the excel workbook takes more than 5mins to load, so i guess the getsnapshot.exe needs 5+ mins to wait.

  4. I get an error that getsnapshot.exe is not a valid win32 application – any ideas?

  5. Pints says:

    Have you come across an issue where when trying to view the powerpivot gallery view you only see a blank screen, but if you add the user to the local admins group on the server then the user is able to view the powerpivot gallery? I am concerned becuase I dont want to add normal users to local admins on the server. is there a way around this?

  6. Gita Mooney says:

    IS there a way to automate this for multiple files as a backend process?

  7. Srisabari S says:

    Hi Mariano,

    While GallerySnapShot.exe, will there be any impact on server performance.

  8. TeroT says:


    I got this working with excel workbooks but not with PowerView reports. Is there similar way to refresh Power View reports in Power Pivot gallery?

Skip to main content