Tips of Using Windows 7 – Image Preview Pane and Folder Options

Here I provide 2 small Windows 7 tips that bothered me days and decided to solve it. well, actually they are just setting problems.

First, in Windows 7, now the default option for Windows Explorer is to not show the folder list when you open or get into a folder, which is different with that in Vista. I’ve used to have the folder list in left pane so that I can clearly know where I am, therefore I decided to put it back. it’s on the Tools –> Folder Options menu.


Just check that “Show all folders” and “Automatically expand to current folder” and you got the using experience like when you were in Vista.

Second, which bothered me the most, is that I don’t have Image Preview in Windows Explorer. all I got are thumbnails.


After a search, found the problem via this forum post. Yes, I had tweaked settings in my windows explorer, and I DID CHECKED that “Always show icons, never thumbnails”!!


Make sure you UNCHECK this option if you want preview of your image files!

That’s it, wish it help. 🙂

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Comments (201)
  1. Tom Lewis says:

    This has been driving me mad ever since my install- videos would show but not images.  Your site was the first result on search and a great guide on how to sort it out, so thanks, my image previews are back in glorious technicolour 🙂

  2. Justass says:

    Thanks mate, you saved my day 🙂 That thumbnail hide made me crazy as well.

  3. Joern Lucht says:

    Thanks!!! This has been driving me nuts for days!!!

  4. Har… I was looking up VSTO and certificates and your blog is copied verbetum to other blogs. On the other blog it link led back to here (main page) and not the original article you wrote.

    I hate that Win 7 does the not showing tree on left. Thanks. Now to find your certificate and VSTO article. 🙂

  5. Andy traub says:

    man, why does MS do stuff like this to me??  Thanks for letting me know how to change those preview settings.  SO annoying.

  6. Kaste says:

    Well I do all that (I’m talking about the second problem) but when I choose an image for a folder preview it doesn’t respond. I choose the image but the folder still showing the video file with an image of the programm that it opens, the srt file with an image of the programme that it opens and the image that I want. So it still shows what is inside the folder.

  7. Alice says:

    I’ve had a mental blackout concerning this little problem I had with Windwos7 Windows Explorer.

    Thanks for providing this on then net!

  8. Doug L. says:

    Thanks for the tip on getting the previewer in win file explorer to display the actual file (in jpg).

    I Appreciate the tip.

    Doug L.

  9. Agnes says:

    Appreciate your tips!!! it helps…thanks a lot~

  10. Nathalie says:

    Wonderful. Thanks. For unexplained reasons, my folder properties had changed automatically.

  11. Anne Barron says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you….I saw that option and thought it might be why I couldn’t see my images in the preview pane….but then decided the fix couldn’t be THAT simple and moved on to checking all my other settings….THANK YOU AGAIN!!!  Now if only I can figure out why my memory card readers aren’t being recognized….???

  12. Anne Barron says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you….I saw that option and thought it might be why I couldn’t see my images in the preview pane….but then decided the fix couldn’t be THAT simple and moved on to checking all my other settings….THANK YOU AGAIN!!!  Now if only I can figure out why my memory card readers aren’t being recognized….???

  13. Lisa says:

    Thanks a lot. My priviews had gone away and it was driving me crazy to have to open the whole thing just to see what I had. 😉

  14. ram says:

    Hi you’ve provided a good information and it was very helpful for me. I thank you for your help. Keep it up and keep going.

  15. Steve M says:

    Thanks for the picture preview fix.  I can’t believe it was that simple yet so annoying.

  16. Candice says:

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!! I can usually fix these things on my own but this one wow drove me up a wall geez

  17. Joshua Clark says:

    Thank you so much! This was driving me crazy too! Thank goodness for your blog.

    Keep up the good work!

  18. Jaganmohan Krishnamoorthy says:

    Thanks ! This was driving me crazy tooooo !

  19. Nick says:

    Thank you so much! You saved my day!!!

  20. Andre Louhanapessy says:

    Thank you very much, you have help us solve a very annoying problem.

  21. Kaspars says:

    Hi 5 for this!!!

  22. MM says:

    Thanks again for the quick easy fix!!

  23. Bryndon B says:

    This is exactly what I've been looking for-thanks for making my day!!!

  24. Naveen Goel says:

    Thanks for providing the help, this problem was bothering me since so many days.

  25. Alper says:

    Thanks man, It helped :))

  26. Lian says:

    I can't even BEGIN to tell you how much this frustrated me! No filmstrip and no thumbnails? I was going mad! Thank you so much for finding the solution. I didn't even think about searching there… Forever grateful; seriously.

    Thanks, XO

  27. Lian says:

    I can't even BEGIN to tell you how much this frustrated me! No filmstrip and no thumbnails? I was going mad! Thank you so much for finding the solution. I didn't even think about searching there… Forever grateful; seriously.

    Thanks, XO

  28. Terence Fuzz says:



  29. Joe says:

    Thank you!  Worked perfectly!  This was driving me nuts until I found this article!!

  30. pete says:

    omg! i've been looking for this fix for ages!! thanks 🙂

  31. Larry says:

    Thanks a lot for this tip 🙂

  32. Pat says:

    Great Info. Small things but very irritating. Your article explained it perfectly. Appreciate it

  33. Abdul says:

    Good info thank you

  34. Firebabe says:

    Thanks for this! I couldn't find anywhere on how to change my view options from the thumbnails back to the images themselves. ♥ this has definitely helped!

    Thanks again!

  35. Rich B says:

    Thanks for that the preview had disapeared for me 2

  36. Steve says:

    Thanks for posting this – it's a simple fix after all but most web searches  were ongoing complaints without a solution – thanks for sharing and helping us configure this properly

  37. fade of avalon says:

    dear god  , thank you , i was about to murder inc. my putey

  38. Kumar says:

    Thank you very much. I searched Google but bing brought me this helpful article. Great help.

  39. Samus says:

    Thanks so much!! This has been driving me mad for days now!

    It makes planning activites so mush easier!

  40. Samus says:

    Thanks so much!! This has been driving me mad for days now!

    It makes planning activites so mush easier!

  41. lionhart says:

    thankz a lot, ur d man!

  42. Random Man says:

    I salute you to the truth. The other answers on the net are bunch of  liars.

  43. lilt says:

    Wow. Right on. Appreciate the help.

  44. Vinay says:

    Great tips.. you saved me……. Thanks a lot.

  45. Terry Cantor says:

    The picture preview fix was embarrassingly simple.  I fiddled around for hours!!  Thanks.

  46. Emma Stevenson says:

    Thank you so much for this post. The problem was incredibly annoying and yet it was sooo simple to fix!   🙂

  47. Manojkumar Pillai says:

    Thanks a lot . I was really getting mad about this.

  48. Fred van Akkeren says:

    Wonderful to find the fix.

    I was going beserk.

    thanks thanks


  49. Fred says:

    Thanks, and I don't know why Miscrosoft changed this default settings at all…

  50. Spintops says:

    Thanks! this was driving me nuts!

  51. brenda says:

    thanks so much .. so helpful…

    yes i agree with everyone so simple yet so annoying

  52. Aeola (Namibia) says:

    Wow! I' ve been through registry repairs, fault finders, everything short of re-installing Windows 7. Here I landed on these tips and wala, problem solved with my icons not previewing. Thx Rex!

  53. Cathy B says:

    THANK YOU! I've been going nuts not being able to preview my files. What a simple fix. I wonder why Microsoft doesn't share this tidbit of information in their help documentation.

  54. Venu says:

    Thank you ! Awesome  tips , surprise to know Microsoft can't give this simple tips 🙂

  55. belal says:

    thanks a lot for the information

  56. Marcvs says:

    Life saver.  my wife has been nagging to fix this all day.  simple enough to have missed and windows help was not very helpful.  

  57. Felipe g says:

    Thanks a lot.

  58. Nigel Stolting says:

    Thank you…the not being able to preview photos has been bugging me for ages.

  59. Tristan Carpenter says:

    I LOVE YOU SO MUCH RIGHT NOW!!  That was driving me off the friggin wall not being able to see the image preview on the thumbnails.  Whats funny is at one point when I was exploring the folder options to change that, I actually unchecked that, then checked it again thinking "Nah, that can't be it"  rofl….

  60. wakjohn says:

    thank for share this information….

  61. Lusi says:


  62. Oren Keller - Israel says:

    You're the man !

  63. Mikey says:

    thanks for the tip on the pic preview.

  64. Marie says:

    Thank you so much! It was so annoying but not anymore. 😀

  65. Praphul Kolte says:

    Thanks a lot. It helped me lot for preview.

  66. Stephanie Marie Jones says:

    OMG this has been driving me crazy.  YOU FIXED it, thanks!

  67. Kat A. says:

    OMG I love you for posting this fix.. the pic preview was driving me nuts!

  68. shaffie says:

    Big thx man it was ahell of an issue, regardless of how simple it may appear.

  69. Dan in Hong Kong says:



  70. HP says:

    THANK YOU!!!

  71. ma says:

    iv tried this is dnt work  n drivin me nuts

  72. serrrg says:

    thanks, that was exactly what i nedded..

  73. pt says:

    thanks.. I have been looking for this since yesterday….

  74. king says:

    thanks a lot man!

  75. millersue says:

    Wow! This has been driving me crazy. I can't thank you enough.

  76. ajay says:

    thank  u very very very very much …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    thank u ……………

  77. Ivannnn says:

    thankkk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11 ypouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu i love youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

  78. Michelle says:

    Awesome!!!! This has been driving me crazy!!!! Thankx so much 🙂

  79. Renee says:

    Thank you so much it was just ticking me off! 🙂

  80. Wiliiam Wang says:

    Thanks very much. It is workable for my problems.

  81. AZ says:

    Thank you so much !!!

  82. Peace says:

    Thank you!

  83. Lee Fong says:

    Thanks! It is wonderful to see the preview! Thanks!

  84. Kiribe says:

    Thank you a million times !!!!!

  85. Kartik says:

    Thanks… Helped a lot.

  86. Mr Fix-it says:

    Ah ha,, that's it!   Been several weeks and I know it was something I did but hey,  now I can preview files and photos again..  Thanks!

  87. adila says:

    Thanks a lot… image preview hv been big prob to my husband & i..  solved edy.. thanx..!!

  88. Markus Hugo says:

    You are a savior, I was going crazy without been able to view previews…. SHOT!!!!!

  89. Binoy says:

    Thanks a ton buddy !!! last time to conter this i had to install stuff disable areo theme etc etc !!!

    But this is as simple as it can get thanks again !!!!

  90. e2g4 says:

    yes, thanks. How brilliant of the designers to think that we'd love to look at a bunch of generic icons rather than a thumbnail of the image. And they wonder why Apply continues to beat them.

  91. Koby R says:

    very usefull tip !! 🙂

  92. Leo says:

    Just another big thank you 🙂

  93. Sharon says:

    Thank you…..I have been annoyed by this FOREVER! No more…glad I stumbled on your post….XOXOXOXO  🙂

  94. inder says:

    thanx fo help

  95. Kiki says:

    Really helpful! Thank you.

  96. Jonny says:

    Thank you!

  97. Dhawal says:

    Thank you so much .. i was searching for days for the image preview problem and went through multiple posts but could get a proper solution …. it was such simple.. thanx a lot !! 🙂

  98. holley says:

    THANKU SO MUCH I LOVE U!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  99. Sabhya Prajapati says:

    Thank you!

  100. cathy says:

    THANK YOU, this has been driving me berserk since I got my computer serviced!!! Nobody could figure this out, you are a life saver!!!!!

  101. MANTOSH KUMAR says:


  102. Kiran Vaghela says:

    Thanks a lot, tooo much

  103. jonny crash says:

    hey thanks alot i been trng to see thumbs inmy folder for over a month now lol stupid for them to make default icons only but anyways thanks again this page helped out alot

  104. problem says:

    sir but i m not getting the folder option

  105. Rick S says:

    Saved me hours.  It's so simple but was so hard to find.  Many, many thanks.

  106. Kamal says:

    OMG… !!!I LOVE YOU lot thnx………..

  107. Windows7Challenged says:

    Thaaaaannnnnkkkk youuuuu!!!!

  108. Heythere says:

    thanks! you are a lifesaver! please continue posting more news and tips here!

  109. DB says:

    Thank you so much for shraing these details!.. I was longing to do this since a long time!

  110. EG says:

    thank you so much! it worked:)

  111. DFD says:

    Hay, it worked, thanks !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  112. bob says:

    I have tried this several times and is not working

  113. user says:

    thx,it worked

  114. Mike says:

    One of the best things about the internet…vast communication! Thank you:)

  115. aung says:

    thank you very ver much

  116. Lina says:

    It was very helpful! Thank you!

  117. Cathy says:

    Thank you SO much! 🙂

  118. aman says:

    thanxxx u help me so much

  119. Tom says:

    Thank you very much.

  120. Preet Pal. says:

    Thanks Rex. Much appreciate your sharing your experience.

  121. DAVE CUBBEDGE says:

    this did not work on my Windows 7 system.

  122. oji says:

    thx a lot.. it really help

  123. Brute says:

    Thanks… this also was making me beat my head against the wall… u da man

    l8tr daze

  124. James says:

    Thanks that has been driving me mad for weeks, you've made my day 🙂

  125. nishan shams says:

    This has been driving me mad ever since my install- videos would show but not images.  Your site was the first result on search and a great guide on how to sort it out, so thanks, my image previews are back in glorious technicolou

  126. benny says:


  127. Folads says:

    It works greatly…thanks

  128. Hamir says:

    Its working great, thank you very much

  129. Rico says:

    thanks. very big help…. almost threw my laptop out the window.. had this problem for months.

  130. Nin says:

    Awesome! This helps me a lot. Thanks ma!. 🙂

  131. Lin says:

    Thanks  very much, this image preview thing had been driving me nuts, so minor a detail but so big an irritation, Microsoft could do to look at your easily understood explanation 🙂

  132. Noel says:

    What a great find on discovering your site.

    Like many others all of a sudden I couldn't get my images showing and despite all the help menus I found salvation and the end of my frustration with your decisive help.

    Many thanks.

  133. T0pzi says:

    Thanks! You made my life easier!

  134. Computer User says:

    Thanks a bunch! You made my day… 😉

  135. Graham says:

    Cheers for this info, just got a Win7 PC and was wondering why the heck Preview pane didn't show a preview!

  136. drzli says:

    thanks thanks thanks

  137. Haley says:

    So mine isn't checked and it still is NOT showing a preview. It used to but has randomly stopped. I have tried restarting…. The preview pane is there but no image appears for ANY file that i've tried.

  138. WinXP better than Win7 says:

    good sharing, BUT problem of this way is that you will see some other file types in desktop with their preview image instead of default icon. this way of win7 causes me uncomfortable as i can't find file with default icon fast.

    so i am seeking if we have the winXP way of showing preview and file icon in Win7 desktop.

  139. M Saidul Karim says:

    Thanks and saved my day…

  140. Mourtada Ahmed says:

    thanks to save time & effort

  141. Sky says:

    Thank you . Solved my Problem

  142. shyam says:

    thanX brother…….

  143. abdur Rehman says:

    thaaankkxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx maaaaaan sssssssssooooooooooooo much………….

  144. Shankar says:

    Thank you so much bro.

  145. Raheel says:

    Great tips, I solved problem.

  146. Blaine says:

    Damn!  What a relief. Thanks mate.

  147. chetan kotadiya says:

    thanks dear

  148. Catur Teguh Ok says:

    Thank you, Terima kasih

  149. Ivi says:

    Thank you very much! Respect!

  150. manoj kanann says:

    thank u

  151. manoj kannan says:

    thank u

  152. Erick says:

    Thanks bro..

  153. Murray says:

    Ah at last! Thanks a bunch!

  154. Ahmad Raza says:


    Your website is very informative . please help me

    How to add background image in windows explorer file browser panel (left side Panel when open my computer).

    Please suggest me about that. i want to add background with my own image . please help me

  155. cookies says:

    thank you very muchhhhhhhhhhhhh

  156. K.C.Babu says:

    Thanks so much!!

  157. Nitish Pillai says:

    Thank so much… I was struggling with the Preview function for a very long time… Finally, your steps helped.. Thank you again

  158. Nell says:

    This is so awesome!!! Thank you so much!

  159. bob says:

    thanks this helped me a lot

  160. Nibin says:

    It was really helpful

  161. Ummmm says:

    thanks a bunch! this has driven me bananas for months!

  162. Ivo Nikolov says:

    That was very helpful (helping me see how to preview my JPG files in Windows 7).

    Thank you so much!

  163. Fahad Jahandad says:

    Thank You For Providing Great Information, God May Help You More Than You Help Me.

  164. Vimu says:

    Thanks a lot…

  165. keelu says:

    Tnx bro

  166. Pierre says:

    Thank you very much to publish this. I do not understand polici  of microsoft probeble the like yanning people ho use there product.

  167. Mohsen says:

    Thanks. Solved my problem!

  168. Saja says:

    OH i love you! thanks finally it works

  169. Shelley says:

    Thanks so much for posting this. Mine updated to 11 and changed settings I guess, It has been driving me nuts!!

  170. ccg says:

    Did exactly what you describe but still the same problem, no preview, any other suggestions please?

  171. Cat says:

    Holy Sh*T…. if you only had a bit of an idea as to how long this has been driving me CRAZY for… #2 I mean. And it wasn't just for win explorer… No matter what programm i used I had no preview. I think I love you <3

  172. Stan says:

    Slow clap for you mate… Cheers! Thanks!

  173. Clive says:

    Thanks for fixing what Bill broke in W7. That icon thing was driving me nuts too. (I know short trip!)

  174. ali says:


  175. Baskaran says:

    Small Changes but .. didn't know that….. now i knew through Your site. Thanks Alot!….

  176. Dave says:

    Thanks, was getting sick of not seeing the photos

  177. honeyman's wildlife says:

    that just saved me from throwing this machine out of the window

  178. jessi says:

    Thanks for the tip. I admire you. thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaank yooooooooooooooooou

  179. Joe says:

    Ihis is old, but my computer Win7 is doing the same thing.. nothing works! thumbnails show..most don't. Sometimes Preview good for one pic, then nothing. Tried everything…Why some thumbs open and others don't?

    Used to work perfect! No tweaks…just default settings. All thumbs showed up instantly…preview showed them instantly. Any ideas???

  180. veekay says:

    Perfect tip to get back the thumbnail previews in Explorer, on my nifty little Sony Vaio netbook!

    Glad this was a toggleable setting in Explorer's 'Folder options' page, so no fiddling with obscure registry hacks or installing software.

    If you are using Windows 7 Starter or Basic, get the 'Personalisation Panel' and XnView, and make the best use of this little tip.

    Thanks, Rex!

  181. joy says:

    checked settings and applied but still have icons not thumbnails? What can I do?



  183. Pradeep says:


  184. beena says:

    thank you a million it worked for me …

  185. zaionti says:

    it was really annoying me and never took the time to resolve it.

    thanks to your advise it was a very time saving fix


  186. serena says:

    thank  yo so much was going mad.. couldnt see the pic in the preview pane.. so easy whe you know how

  187. Schmendric says:

    I occasionally would look for a solution to this over the years.  Thank you for posting this – it really helped.

  188. Ramdac says:

    Thanks.. you really solved my problem.

  189. mubu says:

    thx man

  190. Grateful says:

    Thank you! I was going mad and desperately googled all kinds of previewers  – then I found your post! Thank you again.

  191. SANDEEP BISWAS says:

    Brilliant…………… simple…………..thanks a lot…………..

  192. Baldy says:

    Thanks, old tip I've forgot – must be the age.

  193. Iva says:

    Thank you! 🙂

  194. gabrijel says:

    nije to nego vec kako preview windows 7

  195. Helen Jones says:

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! Ridiculously simple and been such a pain!

  196. Greg V says:

    First place I checked after driving me bonkers, and you knocked it out of the park.  Thanks so much and sad this isn't set up by default.  Thanks again!!!

  197. atiqah says:

    thank you so much… I'm so glad it back as normal..

  198. IstantoDC says:


  199. Maureen says:

    Thank you so much! After searching for answers, yours is the best that really works! Bravo!

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