How to Clear and Reset Thumbnails Cache on Windows 11?

Windows has the thumbnail database it uses for media files and documents like photos, videos, PDFs, Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, etc. Windows 11 uses these graphic files to show a quick preview of the content in the files present in a folder. Windows automatically generates or removes these thumbnails as necessary whenever you create, copy or delete a file on your computer. As a result, your computer runs smoother since Windows won’t have to create a new thumbnail every time.

However, when you add thumbnails frequently, the Thumbnails Cache Database may get corrupted, and hence you may see the missing thumbnail issue on Windows 11.

To correct it, you will have to delete the database so that Windows may create a new database. It will solve the issue if it has arisen due to a database error.

This risewindows article will teach you how to clear and reset Thumbnails Cache on Windows 11.

If you want to view your thumbnail cache database, press Windows + R on the keyboard to open the Run dialog box. Now, type the following and press Enter:-


You’ll find several database (.db) files in the File Explorer.

How to Enable Thumbnails in File Explorer Options?

If you do not see any thumbnails on your computer, you need to check whether it is enabled in the File Explorer Options or not. If it’s not, use the following steps to turn it on:-

Step 1: To begin, open File Explorer Options.

Alternatively, you can use the shortcut Windows + R and open the Run dialog box. After that, type the following command in it and press Enter:-

control.exe folders

Step 2: After opening the File Explorer Options window, switch to the View tab.

Step 3: Find the Always show icons, never thumbnails option under the “Advanced settings” section. Un-check it.

Step 4: Click the Apply button.

Step 5: Click the OK button.

How to Erase Thumbnail Cache using Disk Cleanup?

If you want to delete the thumbnail cache using Disk Cleanup, use the following steps:-

Step 1: Open the Disk Cleanup tool.

Alternatively, you can use the shortcut Windows + R and open the Run dialog box. After that, type the following command in it and press Enter:-


Step 2: Now, you need to select a drive you want to clean up, which is usually the Windows installation drive (“C” drive), and click on the OK button.

Step 3: Check Thumbnails and click on OK button.

Completion of the above steps will delete and reset the thumbnail database cache. Lastly, reboot your system to apply the changes.

How to Delete Thumbnail Cache using Command Prompt?

You can also remove the thumbnail cache through Command Prompt. To do that, use the following steps:-

Step 1: Start by opening an elevated Command Prompt.

Step 2: After doing that, type the following commands one by one and press Enter on the keyboard:-

taskkill /f /im explorer.exe
del /f /s /q /a %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer\thumbcache_*.db
start explorer.exe

The first, second, and third commands will terminate File Explorer, erase the thumbnail cache, and restart the File Explorer, respectively.

That’s it.

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