How to Display Thumbnail Preview on Windows 11?

A Step-by-Step Guide to Enabling Thumbnail Previews on Windows 11.

Windows 11, the latest addition to the Microsoft family, is laden with features that elevate user experience, one of which is the thumbnail previews. These tiny visual representations are designed to offer users a sneak peek into their images, videos, and other files, eliminating the need to open each file individually. In essence, thumbnails are miniature versions of larger files that provide a quick overview, simplifying file navigation and boosting efficiency. However, there seems to be a hiccup. A significant number of users have reported challenges in accessing thumbnail previews, particularly within File Explorer. The absence of these handy previews can be a real setback for those accustomed to this visual aid. Thumbnails not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of your folders but also streamline your search, making file organization a breeze. If you’ve found yourself caught in this predicament, worry no more. This risewindows guide will walk you through the steps to effortlessly enable thumbnail previews on Windows 11, ensuring you harness the full potential of this novel operating system.

How to Enable or Disable Thumbnail Preview on Windows 11?

As mentioned above, thumbnail preview is enabled for your PC by default, but if you need it, you can turn it on/off when required. For that, use the following steps:-

Step 1. Firstly, open File Explorer by pressing the Windows + E keys on the keyboard.

Step 2. Now, click the ellipse (three dots on the toolbar) and select Options to open Folder Options dialog.


Step 3. Then, navigate to the View tab. Here, check or uncheck the box beside “Always show icons, never thumbnails” to disable or enable the thumbnail preview. Since you want to see Thumbnail Preview in Windows 11, leave this field unchecked.

Step 4. After that,  click Apply.

Step 5. Next, click OK.

Step 5. After completing all the steps, in File Explorer, click on View in the toolbar and select Medium icons, Large icons, or Extra large icons.

Now, thumbnails will appear in preview mode.

Also Read: How to Change Mouse Hover Time to Display Taskbar Thumbnail Live Preview on Windows 11 and 10?


Thumbnail previews in Windows 11 enhance file navigation by providing quick visual insights into file content. Although enabled by default, some users may encounter issues viewing them. By following the simple steps detailed above, you can seamlessly toggle the thumbnail previews on or off in Windows 11, ensuring an optimal user experience.


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