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How to Clear and Reset the Thumbnail Cache on Windows 10?

Efficient Methods to Clear and Reset Thumbnail Cache

In the vast universe of the Windows operating system, little details contribute significantly to user experience. One such detail is the thumbnail – a tiny, visual representation of a file’s content, giving users a quick preview without having to open the file. But what powers these thumbnails? Enter the ‘thumbnail cache.’ This unique feature of Windows stores copies of each thumbnail, ensuring that whenever you browse through your folders, file previews load swiftly, creating a seamless experience. Essentially, instead of generating a new preview every time you access a file, Windows smartly fetches it from the thumbnail cache. However, like any cache, it’s not immune to glitches. At times, these stored thumbnails might appear corrupted or not match their corresponding files. If you’ve been scratching your head over mismatched or corrupted thumbnails, there’s a remedy: clearing and resetting the thumbnail cache. In this article, we’ll dive deep into the steps to efficiently refresh your thumbnail cache on Windows 10, ensuring that every preview is accurate and crisp.

There are at least four ways to clear and reset the thumbnail cache on Windows 10. These methods are as follows:-

  1. Manually clear and reset thumbnail cache.
  2. Clear thumbnail cache using Disk Cleanup.
  3. Clear thumbnail cache using a third-party program.
  4. Clear thumbnail cache using Command Prompt.

Manually clear and reset thumbnail cache

To manually clear and reset the thumbnail cache from the user profile, do the following steps:-

Step 1. Open the Windows Explorer by pressing Windows Logo + E keys simultaneously (Alternately, you can open ‘This PC‘ from the desktop shortcut or Start menu).

Step 2. From the “File Explorer” menu, click on the View tab.

Step 3. Check Hidden items under the View tab to show hidden files and folders.

Now all the hidden files and folders will be visible. The files or folders which are slightly transparent were hidden.

Step 4. Once hidden files and folders are visible, navigate to the following path in File Explorer:-


Note: Replace the UserName with your current username through which you have logged into your PC.

Step 5. Select and delete all the thumb cache files, and Windows will automatically regenerate them.

Now thumbnail cache issue should be fixed on your Windows 10 machine.

Clear thumbnail cache using Disk Cleanup

Disk Cleanup is a built-in utility of Windows 10. The Thumbnail cache can be deleted through the Disk Cleanup tool also. To clear the thumbnail cache using Disk Cleanup, do the following steps:-

Step 1. Type Disk Cleanup in the Start menu, and from the available results, click on the Disk Cleanup app to open the same.

Step 2. Select Thumbnailson the Disk Cleanup window.

Step 3. Finally, click on the OK button to delete the existing Thumbnails.

Clear thumbnail cache using a third-party program

There are several free tools over the internet to find and delete thumbnail cache files. Thumbnail Database Cleaner is one of them, which is free and easy to use. You can download the latest version of Thumbnail Database Cleaner from its official webpage here.

To clear the thumbnail cache using Thumbnail Database Cleaner, do the following:-

Step 1. Install and launch the Thumbnail Database Cleaner utility.

Step 2. Click the “Start Search” button to find the thumbnail’s cache on the selected directory.

Step 3. Click on the Clean button to remove all the stored thumbnails from your Windows PC.

Clear thumbnail cache via Command Prompt

To clear the thumbnail cache using Command Prompt perform the following steps:-

Step 1. Click on the Start button and type CMD.

Step 2. Right-click on the Command Prompt app and select Run as administrator.

Step 3. If prompted, enter a username and password of the managed administrator account of your computer.

Step 4. Type the following commands one by one on the command prompt and press Enter from the keyboard after typing every command to execute the same:-

cd /d %userprofile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer

attrib -h thumbcache_*.db

del thumbcache_*.db

After completing the above steps, it will delete the thumbnail cache from your Windows 10 PC. Now restart the PC to rebuild a fresh thumbnail cache.

That’s all for this article. I hope this article will add some value to your work.


Ensuring a smooth and intuitive experience is a primary goal for any Windows user. Thumbnails, though small, play a significant role in achieving this by offering a glimpse into our files without the need to open them. However, when glitches in the thumbnail cache interrupt this experience, knowing how to address the issue becomes essential. By following the methods outlined in this guide, you can efficiently refresh your thumbnail cache on Windows 10 and continue to enjoy a seamless browsing experience. Whether you’re a casual user or a tech-savvy enthusiast, keeping these steps in your toolkit will undoubtedly prove handy in maintaining the health and efficiency of your system.


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