View .flv, .3gp and Other Video Thumbnails in Explorer

We have many videos with us and in many formats. There are so many video formats available today that sometimes it becomes very confusing as well. The most popular video formats are .avi, .wmv, .mpg but there are many others like .flv, .mp4 and .vob

While you can play avi and other formats directly, you need certain codecs to run flv and other video formats. The major problem linked with these video files is that while we can see the preview of a movie in avi extension in explorer, we are unable to see the thumbnail preview of these extensions .flv, .3gp etc.


Method 1

But here is how you can make your videos in extensions like flv and 3gp to show thumbnail preview in the Windows Explorer just like the avi and wmv files.

1.    The following trick needs registry tweaking so you can either backup your registry or delete the key that you are just going to create.

2.    Open a notepad and copy and paste the following code as it is.



3.    Remember you need to copy the entire code and then save the file with any name but with .reg extension say abc.reg (If this don’t work then paste Windows
Registry Editor Version 5.00
before REGEDIT4 and try again)

4.    Double click this newly created file and click on yes afterwards.

5.    Congratulations, flv video files will show a thumbnail preview in the explorer.


Similarly, you can make the other video files like .3gp, .mp4, .mov or .vob to show thumbnail preview in the explorer. For that you just need to replace .flv with the extension you are making




This will create a new registry key that will show the preview of the video file.


Method 2

If the above method doesn’t work for you then the following will. Download and install K-Lite codec pack in the computer (if you have already done it, then you can re-install the latest version).

While installing the pack there will be an option (see below)

checking which the preview of the thumbnails will be shown in the explorer without any tweak. Yes it is very simple.

Let me know how did you like the post?

66 Replies to “View .flv, .3gp and Other Video Thumbnails in Explorer”

  1. Bud Laman method work greats actually,,

    ” Everyone seems to be correct to some extent above. I have windows 7 and by installing k-lite and checking registry I was able to make all video programs work as well as all thumbnails EXCEPT FLV that were encoded with the AVC codec. After reading this post I went to the K-Lite program and under tools there is a program called Win7DSFilterTweaker (part of k-lite install). Changing the preferred decoder for H.264 from Microsoft to FFDShow, all thumbs now show perfectly, uncluding the AVC codec ones.”

    now you guys just need to change open with properties to WMP and then change it back to any other video software that you use to view video. it will works.

  2. Shortly after entering the above, I found that Tweaker that Kmaroz refers to. My FLVs now show thumbnails everywhere but on the CD/DVD drive. I’m sure that’s a simple fix, but I can live with what I’ve got unless someone knows for sure how to bring that drive into “alignment” with what the others are doing.

  3. Thank you for the Method 2 tip (K-Lite). I’ve been trying for more than a year to get mkv and flv thumbnails. I would point out that simply installing the 32 bit codec pack (std)was not successful in producing thumbnails.It wasn’t until I installed the 64 bit pack as well that the thumbnails finally appeared. I have Windows7 64 bit. I feel like purring !

  4. Edit to previous comment. I never did get the screen shown in method 2 and I didn’t set either Media Player Classic or Windows Media Player as the default player, but I still have thumbnails for all the formats I have, nut just mkv and flv.

  5. funny, i survived with this trouble for more 1 year until KLM release the latest (2012) 64bit codec pack. now all my thumbnail work perfect.

  6. u all should read carefully what bud laman and kmaroz write. dont expect it will change after u do the tweak step but u need to open that flv file using windows media player. change that at properties. that work for me. windows 7 64 bits.

  7. Hi there,

    The instructions for displaying flv thumbnails are not correct. I installed 9.55 Mega, no where in the installation or codec tweak tool are you given the option to select thumbnails to display.

    I must be missing something ?

  8. Installing the K-Lite v9.6.5.0 64-bit codec pack worked for me with Win7 64-bit (with no other 3rd party codec packs).
    I installed it using the all default settings.
    I made no other changes to my system.

    Prior to installation only the .flv video thumbnails weren’t showing. Now all my video thumbnails are displayed (flv, mp4, wmv, 3g2, mov, mkv).

    I don’t know why previous commenter “greg” didn’t have the option to select which thumbnails to display.
    Using the Codec Tweak Tool that K-Lite installs, there is a way to choose any of 36 different file-types to display thumbnails for.

    In the Codec Tweak Tool’s miscellaneous section, the option right next to the “Thumbnails” option is called “Various Tweaks”, and it is greyed-out for me.

  9. Poster “SOLUTION” solved the problem for me on a Win7 64(home premium)with VLC as a player. NO REG edits or extra codec packs needed. Worked on my external drive as well. Not a single thumbnail missing. After weeks of looking this is the fix we all want. Now perhaps Micro$oft will take a look at it?? na why bother when they can sell tech support…

  10. forgot to add that you do need “Always show icons,never thumbnails” in folder options UNchecked.

  11. I’m running windows 7 64 bit and the post by solution WORKS!! Thanks a bunch.


  12. OMG!!! Thank you so much!! I’ve been trying everything to the point of nauseam to get my .flv extension thumbnails. Installing the K-Lite v9.6.5.0 64-bit codec pack worked for me flawlessly and instantaneously! I’m soooo happy!!!

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