Thumbs.db files. What are they and how to remove them

Thumbs.db files.  What are they and how to eliminate them

Have you seen files called thumbs.db in Windows Explorer? It is something much more common than you think. In this article we explain what thumbs.db files are, what their purpose is and how you can remove them in a very simple way.

What are thumbs.db files and what are they for?

Before understanding what thumbs.db files are, we need to understand how Windows works in relation to images. In Microsoft Windows operating systems, a cache is used to store thumbnail images for Windows Explorer when thumbnail view is enabled in Explorer.


This caching system allows images to be displayed faster , because they do not need to be recalculated every time a user visits the folder that contains them. In this way, the user experience is improved and the consumption of computer resources is reduced.

Thumbs.db is a hidden database file that contains a small JPEG file that represents each of the thumbnails in a folder. The thumbs.db files are required for Windows to display a thumbnail for each icon.

The thumbs.db are automatically created in the same directory as the thumbnails that are being displayed. You can safely delete any thumbs.db file, although Windows will automatically recreate it unless you disable the feature.

The thumbs.db files are not visible unless you have selected the " Show hidden files and folders " option in the folder options panel, and you are using icon mode in Windows explorer, so if you haven't seen them you know the cause.

Show hidden items

How to disable thumbs.db generation

You can disable the creation of thumbs.db files , which can be useful if you are low on disk space. Today's computers are very powerful, so they have no problem generating thumbnails every time a folder is visited.

To do this, you only need to access Windows Explorer . You can do this by pressing the Windows + E key combination. Once the file explorer is open, enter the " Options " section in the upper right corner.

Thumbs.db files.  What are they and how to eliminate them 01

A configuration window will open. Go to the " View " tab and check the option " Always show icons, never thumbnails ." Finally, click on "OK" to apply the changes.


This will have disabled the Thumbs.db.