- 1 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.
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.
Step 3: Click on Temporary files.
Step 4: Check the Thumbnails box.
Step 5: Click Remove files.
Step 6: Click Continue to confirm your selection.
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:
Step 1: Press the Windows key to open the Start Menu.
Step 2: Type Disk Cleanup in the search bar and press Enter.
Step 3: Select the OS drive (usually C drive) and click OK.
Step 4: Check the Thumbnails box and click OK.
Step 5: Click Delete Files in the Disk Cleanup prompt.
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.
Step 3: Paste the following location in the address bar and press Enter. %homepath%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer
Step 4: Press Control + A to select all the thumbcache files. Then, press Shift + Delete to permanently delete them.
Step 5: Click Yes to confirm.
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.
Step 2: To clear the Thumbnail cache, copy and paste the following command and press Enter:
del /f /s /q /a %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer\thumbcache_*.db
In the end, you’ll see the names of all the deleted files.
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.
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.
Step 5: Choose the Enabled option.
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.
As Fred Humiston, the author behind Twothirds.us, I focus on providing practical and easy-to-follow guides and solutions for a variety of technical issues that people commonly face.
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