Windows 11 no longer includes thumbnail previews for multimedia folder icons by default. Instead, a little white stripe on the folder icons confirms the folder has content.
If you often work with coordinated image groups, this tiny detail may sometimes slow down your productivity. For example, if you have tens of thousands of images stored in hundreds of folders, thumbnail previews can help you find the pictures you need. Otherwise, you’ll need to sort the images by date modified or become more organized when creating your folders.
How Do I Enable Thumbnail Preview in Windows 11?
Unfortunately, selecting different View options doesn’t do anything. The folder icon design won’t change. The only difference is that you’ll get larger or smaller folder icons.
Use a Thumbnail Generator
What you can do instead is install a thumbnail generator. You’ll find plenty of thumbnail generators on GitHub. Unfortunately, with many of these tools, it’s hit or miss. You may need to try out several thumbnail generators until you find the one that suits your needs and works as intended on your machine.
Meet the WindowsThumbnailGenerator
For example, you can download and install the WindowsThumbnailGenerator from GitHub. Remember that you need .NET 5.0 Desktop Runtime to run this tool.
The app relies on ImageMagick with C# to generate composite thumbnails based on the files stored inside your folders. The thumbnail previews are not identical to Windows 10’s thumbnail previews, but at least it’s something. Currently, the tool supports only media file formats (pictures and videos). Vertical file thumbnails such as text files are not supported.
Roll Back to Windows 10
If not having native thumbnail previews for multimedia folders is a major issue for you, you can simply downgrade to Windows 10. Many users decided to go back to Windows 10 just for that function.
As a quick reminder, the downgrade option is available for up to 10 days after installing Windows 11. If more than 10 days have passed, you’ll need to uninstall Windows 11 and reinstall Windows 10 manually.
Windows 11 no longer supports thumbnail previews for multimedia folder icons. There’s no built-in option to enable this feature. As a workaround, you can install the WindowsThumbnailGenerator from GitHub.
What do you think about the lack of thumbnail previews on Windows 11? Share your thoughts in the comments below.