Clear Thumbnail Cache in Windows

When you store a picture inside a folder and view the folder as a thumbnail then you will be able to see few of the images inside the folder. But sometimes it happen that the same pic that you have deleted from the folder continue to show up in the thumbnail view of the folder.

This can be irritating or even pose problems if that image was a confidential one. Then what can you do to clear the thumbnail cache?


1.    We need to delete the Thumbnail Database file that contains the cache of all the images in the folder.

2.    In Windows XP, the cache is stored inside each image folder while in Vista, the cache is stored globally at %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer

For XP:

1.    Open the image folder; go to Tools -> Folder Options -> View tab.

2.    Uncheck the option reading “Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)” and also make sure that your “Show Hidden files and folders” option is checked.

3.    Now you will see a file named “Thumbs.db” inside the folder, just delete it and click OK.

4.    That’s it the thumbnail view of the folder will be refreshed.

For Vista:

1.    Click on Start button, type cleanmgr and press Enter.

2.    Now select My files only.

3.    Select the system drive letter to remove the thumbnail

4.    Uncheck all the entries except the Thumbnails one

5.    OK and exit

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