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Thumbs.db : What it is and how to remove it

by Oscar Sodani
June 12, 2006

Oscar Sodani is a founder of Help2Go and owner of Help2Go Networks, an IT consulting firm in the Washington D.C. area. Oscar holds the CISSP certification as well as industry certifications from Microsoft, Cisco and Novell.

When you have images, photos or movies in a folder, Windows recognizes the files and tries to show you them in "thumbnail" view, or maybe even in the "filmstrip" view. When it shows you the thumbnails, it creates a file called thumbs.db which contains information about those thumbnails so that the pictures can be displayed quickly the next time you view that folder.

If you hate those thumbs.db files, you can delete them without causing any harm to your computer. Here's how to stop Windows from ever creating those thumbs.db files ever again: 

  • Click on the Start button
  • Choose Control Panel
  • Choose Folder Options
  • Click the View tab
  • Check the box that says Do Not Cache Thumbnails
  • Click OK

That's all there is to it - no more thumbs.db files will be created on your hard drive.

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