How To Disable Thumbnail Cache file (Thumbs.db) Creation in Windows

In Windows if you disable the check-box beside Hide protected operating system files under Folder options, then you may notice a lot of hidden Thumbs.db files. You can find them in almost everywhere, especially in folders that has photos, images, pictures, graphics, movies, videos, etc. Windows uses these Thumbs.db files to store a cache of the generated thumbnail previews, so that Windows does not need to regenerate the thumbnails, when you access media folders in Thumbnail or Filmstrip mode and to speed up the display of the thumbnails.

In some system folders, such as My Pictures, My Videos, etc., Windows selects thumbnail view by default and creates a Thumbs.db file, even if you try to default it to other views. Once the Thumbs.db file is generated, the next time you try to access that folder, Windows Explorer may automatically change the default view for folders to Thumbnails or Filmstrip view mode.

However, if you want to free up some space on your hard-disk, you can disable and turn off the thumbnail generation feature, and prevent and stop the Thumbs.db (Thumbnail cache database file) from being created. Just follow the simple steps below and disable the creation of Thumbs.db files.

  • First of all, open Folder Options, which you can access from both Windows Explorer or the Control Panel.
    • To open Folder Options in Windows Explorer, click on the Tools menu, and, then select Folder Options. In order to open from Control Panel, simply double-click on the Folder Options icon.
  • Now, click on the View tab, in Folder Options dialog box.
  • Enable the Do not cache thumbnails option under Advanced Settings, see screenshot below:

disable thumbs.db creation

  • Click on the OK button, and you are done! Now, you can save some hard-disk space.
  • If you want to re-enable the creation of Thumbs.db file, just remove the check-box against “Do not cache thumbnails“.