How To Delete Thumbs.db in Windows 7

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How To Delete Thumbs.db in Windows 7

by MGD King March 25, 2010 9:53 PM

If you’re like me you get annoyed at those little thumbs.db files that Windows has been leaving around every time you use Windows Explorer to view a folder. It really became frustrating when I was working on a project that parsed the contents of a directory to an XML file (more on that project later I hope!) and I kept seeing thumbs.db in my list! So I thought “there’s got to be a way to get rid of these things” and with a little bit of Googling I was able to use a couple of techniques to make it all go away. 

First, open Folder Options and click on the “View” tab. Find “Display file icon on thumbnails” in Advanced Settings and uncheck it like the photo on the left.

image image

Make sure you also uncheck “Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)” for this next step. Now search your drive for thumbs.db. After all of the results are found, press CTRL+A to select them all and then press the DELETE key. You may want to do this to all of your network drives and folders if you have any as well because they’re everywhere!

These thumbs.db files are like ants, don’t do much, and annoying as hell to get rid of but hopefully with this tip you’ll get rid of them and they’ll never come back, that is unless you have someone else who logs on to your computer and/or network and doesn’t know this.

Comments (23) -

James Connor
12/6/2010 2:21:31 PM #

Thanks for that tip! I do a lot of copy & paste and those tumbs.db were about to drive me bonkers. Good job!


wilmer gomez
7/23/2011 3:12:51 PM #



7/31/2011 5:42:02 PM #

i have the windows 7
but the hindow not like this there is another options


Clark Gray
10/28/2012 9:38:40 AM #

I just genuinely enjoyed this and I hope to run into many more listings similar to this.  Many thanks for your cyber share.


Wijdan Rohail
11/29/2012 5:20:48 AM #

I tried to obey this, but I'm getting Thumbs.db in my every folder.


MGD King
11/29/2012 10:03:44 PM #


I'm not sure why you're still getting those pesky varmints. Did you uncheck the "Always show icons, never thumbnails" like I highlighted in the right picture above?


Wijdan Rohail
11/29/2012 11:43:48 PM #

Yes dear I've already done, but I'm worried about why I'm getting these files. I've searched 13,500 Thumbs.db files and delete those. But whenever I go into any folder I found Thumbs.db already there. So I think I need to refresh my Windows 7, because I've also modified gpedit.msc file, but all in vain. Anyways thanks for your kind reply.


12/2/2012 5:15:30 AM #



MGD King
12/14/2012 8:56:47 AM #

You're welcome!


1/9/2013 2:31:10 PM #

Readers,  this should work if you go to  Control Panel  > Folder Options.   MGD probably meant  to go through Control Panel.  Thanks


MGD King
1/11/2013 2:01:52 PM #

Sorry, left that part out. Thanks for catching it. I'm just used to using the Search tool in Windows 7, which is one the handiest features in it!


1/27/2013 8:14:41 AM #

Wow, so simple so effective, great tip you have just ended years of frustration trying to clean up my files and folders and always the pesky Thumbs.db sits there and laughs you

Cheers Rugger


Odell Huffman
5/23/2013 8:02:40 AM #

thx your the sh!t


9/18/2013 1:25:52 AM #

Thanks MGD King, this helped me get rid of the ants ;)


MGD King
9/18/2013 6:04:12 AM #

You're welcome! I'm glad it worked for you!


12/8/2014 10:14:09 AM #

Just wanted to say thanks, the tip worked great. One suggestion: you show two screenshots but only provide text instructions on one. I followed the text, got rid of the files, opened a folder and a new thumbs.db was immediately created. So I went back to your article and saw I didn't check "Always show icons, never thumbnails" because the text never said to do that. Once I checked that block and restarted explorer they have not returned. So, you may want to add some language to that effect. Also, and I am in no way connected to the company, there is a freeware tool out there called EVERYTHING.EXE by voidtools. I couldn't live without it. However, it is so much faster and so much better searching for files than windows search it will amaze you. It is NOT for finding data *IN* files like windows search, but for finding filenames on your hard drives and network drives, there is nothing that can beat it.


2/14/2015 7:51:44 AM #

Thanks a lot jason! It helped a lot.


2/14/2015 7:52:48 AM #

Just please let me know how to subscribe in a way whenever you update something on this blog, i'll get notified on mail....


MGD King
3/3/2015 10:41:20 PM #

Amit, I don't use a newsletter. If you want to stay updated you can subscribe to my RSS feed.


2/24/2015 8:38:07 AM #

If you want to prevent Windows from caching the thumbnails altogether then you can edit your local group policy.

    Click on Start, then Run and type in gpedit.msc  or gpmc.msc
    Browse to User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Explorer
    Look for Turn off the caching of thumbnails in hidden thumbs.db files in the list
    Once you find it, double click it to open its properties and then enable it and click Ok.

And to clean up the mess that is already there

In an administrative command prompt enter;
del /ash /s thumbs.db


3/17/2015 12:09:46 AM #

Thanks Bro.Its solve my problem


5/21/2015 9:11:42 AM #

This isn't how to delete them, this is how to prevent more from occurring.  How do you delete the already-existing ones once you've done this?  Mine still refuses to let me delete them.


MGD King
5/21/2015 5:22:58 PM #

Sure it is. Take a look at the paragraph under the photos. Tell ya right there how to delete them.


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