4 Quick Ways to Clear Thumbnail Cache in Windows 11

4 Quick Ways to Clear Thumbnail Cache in Windows 11

Windows stores copies of your images, videos, and document thumbnails in the Thumbnail cache to display them quickly when you open a folder. Over time, the cache can accumulate data and use up storage space.

4 Quick Ways to Clear Thumbnail Cache in Windows 11

Corruption in the Thumbnail cache can cause issues with File Explorer. To avoid this, regularly delete the Thumbnail cache. In this post, we’ll explore four quick ways to clear the Thumbnail cache in Windows 11.

1. Clear Thumbnail Cache Using the Settings App

The Settings app is the place to manage storage on your Windows PC. You can access it to clear the Thumbnail cache. Here’s how:

Step 1: Press the Windows + I keyboard shortcut to open the Settings app. Step 2: Choose System from the sidebar and Storage from the pane.

4 Quick Ways to Clear Thumbnail Cache in Windows 11

Step 3: Click on Temporary files.

4 Quick Ways to Clear Thumbnail Cache in Windows 11

Step 4: Check the Thumbnails box.

4 Quick Ways to Clear Thumbnail Cache in Windows 11

Step 5: Click Remove files.

4 Quick Ways to Clear Thumbnail Cache in Windows 11

Step 6: Click Continue to confirm your selection.

4 Quick Ways to Clear Thumbnail Cache in Windows 11

2. Clear Thumbnail Cache Using the Disk Cleanup Tool

Disk Cleanup is a Windows utility that clears temporary files, DirectX shader cache, and other unnecessary files. To delete the Thumbnail cache, follow these instructions:

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Step 1: Press the Windows key to open the Start Menu.

Step 2: Type Disk Cleanup in the search bar and press Enter.

4 Quick Ways to Clear Thumbnail Cache in Windows 11

Step 3: Select the OS drive (usually C drive) and click OK.

4 Quick Ways to Clear Thumbnail Cache in Windows 11

Step 4: Check the Thumbnails box and click OK.

4 Quick Ways to Clear Thumbnail Cache in Windows 11

Step 5: Click Delete Files in the Disk Cleanup prompt.

4 Quick Ways to Clear Thumbnail Cache in Windows 11

3. Clear Thumbnail Cache Using the File Explorer

Another convenient way to clear the Thumbnail cache is through File Explorer. However, like the Disk Cleanup tool, there is no direct option to delete the cache in File Explorer. Instead, you need to remove the thumbcache DB files in the Explorer folder. Here’s how:

Step 1: Press the Windows + E keyboard shortcut to open File Explorer.

Step 2: Click the View option at the top bar, hover the cursor over Show, and choose Hidden items from the context menu.

4 Quick Ways to Clear Thumbnail Cache in Windows 11

Step 3: Paste the following location in the address bar and press Enter. %homepath%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer

4 Quick Ways to Clear Thumbnail Cache in Windows 11

Step 4: Press Control + A to select all the thumbcache files. Then, press Shift + Delete to permanently delete them.

4 Quick Ways to Clear Thumbnail Cache in Windows 11

Step 5: Click Yes to confirm.

4 Quick Ways to Clear Thumbnail Cache in Windows 11

4. Clear Thumbnail Cache Using Command Prompt

Command Prompt is a utility used to perform advanced Windows tasks. It can also clear the Thumbnail cache in Windows 11. Follow these steps to clear the Thumbnail cache using Command Prompt: Step 1: Click the Windows icon on the taskbar, type Command Prompt in the search bar, and choose Run as administrator.

4 Quick Ways to Clear Thumbnail Cache in Windows 11

Step 2: To clear the Thumbnail cache, copy and paste the following command and press Enter:

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del /f /s /q /a %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer\thumbcache_*.db

4 Quick Ways to Clear Thumbnail Cache in Windows 11

In the end, you’ll see the names of all the deleted files.

4 Quick Ways to Clear Thumbnail Cache in Windows 11

Prevent Windows 11 From Creating Thumbs.db Files

To prevent Windows 11 from creating duplicate thumbnails of your images, videos, and documents, you need to disable the generation of Thumbs.db files. Follow these steps:

Please note that the Local Group Policy Editor is only available in Windows Pro, Education, and Enterprise editions. If you have the Windows Home edition, you may encounter a ‘gpedit.msc missing error.’ To access the Local Group Policy Editor in Windows Home and resolve this error, refer to our guide on fixing the gpedit.msc missing error.

1. Press the Windows + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run tool.

2. Type “gpedit.msc” and click OK.

4 Quick Ways to Clear Thumbnail Cache in Windows 11

Step 3: In the Local Group Policy Editor, go to:

User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > File Explorer

Step 4: Double-click on the ‘Turn off the caching of thumbnails in hidden thumbs.db files’ policy in the right pane.

4 Quick Ways to Clear Thumbnail Cache in Windows 11

Step 5: Choose the Enabled option.

4 Quick Ways to Clear Thumbnail Cache in Windows 11

Step 6: Click Apply and then OK to save the changes.

Removing Unnecessary Files

Seeing black thumbnails in File Explorer? Clearing the Thumbnail cache can fix this issue and free up space.

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