Thumbnails.db generation

I've finally upgraded from Windows XP, and now run 7 Pro

I noticed Windows 7 doesn't create an individual thumbs.db file in every folder like XP used to, and instead it stores them all together in a global database in C:\Users\<me>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer

I would like to have it working like it used to, creating the thumbs.db file in each folder, and at the same time disable the global one completely.

Can I do this? If so, how?

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Hi, this is not possible because of the differend image management both in windows 7 and windows XP.
But why you would have working the thumbs.db file in each folder?

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rjdownAuthor Commented:
I do a lot of work with videos and thumbnail generation can be pretty lengthy on a big folder. If I swap external drives (which I have to do a lot due to the size of uncompressed video), the thumbs have to be recreated all over again. If the thumbs are stored along with the files, this isn't a problem.

Although it's not a problem I have, you could also consider a large folder of clipart on a DVD. Again if the thumbs file could be generated and stored in the folder, the end user wouldn't have to wait to browse the files.
As far as I know,windows 7 does create thumbnails in picture folders.
They are hidden by default.
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hmm...not sure (since I never meddle with pic's)....will check this out....
rjdownAuthor Commented:
I've read threads in forums with people saying a similar thing, but they're not there, hidden or otherwise. They're all being stored together in the folder I mentioned above.
You are right .... I had thumbs files but they were created by Paint Shop (I thought W7 was doin' it)....
But I hope you don't mind me asking...if you are dealing with many pictures....
why don't you use a program  like acdsee
It has the fastest pic browser I have ever seen ...
It seems centralized database for thumbs was adopted back in Vista...
rjdownAuthor Commented:
I'm dealing with video files, not images, but in either case I'd rather not have to load an application :(

I found an option in the policies manager (gpedit.msc) under User config -> Admin templates -> Windows components -> Windows Explorer. It's called "Turn off the caching of thumbnails in hidden thumbs.db files", but no matter what I try it doesn't appear to actually do anything! It's probably just a leftover XP/2003 setting that's no longer used? Grrr I swear they just put it there to tease me
turning them off is easy but if I am not mistaken you want them 'on' in 'every' folder.

rjdownAuthor Commented:
Yep! There is a separate option in the policies editor for disabling the global thumbnail files in the folder I stated above, and they aren't called "thumbs.db" anyway... that's why I'm sure there must be a way to get them working again!
User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Explorer > Turn off the caching of thumbnails in hidden thumbs.db files
Delete the .db files and reboot
Also in gpo  activate Turn off display of thumbnails, on by default. Explorer will be creating those every time as they're not cached.
The other 2 entries are network options. In a server the thumbs.db are cached in the individual folders by default as per xp.
rjdownAuthor Commented:
I have tried those settings (as I said above), using every possible combination of enabled and disabled for each, with no apparent effect other than disabling the global thumbnail cache. I'd rather not do until the thumbs.db stuff is working though... some caching is better than none after all!

I've put in a support request to Microsoft to see what they have to say... I'll post their response
Thanks for update and please let us know.
rjdownAuthor Commented:
Their reply is below. The advice I was given did not work, it appears to be just another way to disable the global cache! So it seems it cannot be done, which is very frustrating for me considering the number of threads I've found on Google with people asking for it to be disabled!? haha

Thanks for your help but I think I will give up for now :(


Here are few steps that should help us resolve the problem:

- I would like to inform you this is a feature and it is by design, we cannot change it.

- What you can try is you can change this setting in the Registry:

   1. Open the Registry Editor (regedit.exe).
   2. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced.
   3. Double-click the DisableThumbnailCache value, or go to Edit -> New -> DWORD value to create a new value by that name.
   4. Enter 1 for its value.
   5. Click Ok and close the Registry Editor when you're done; you'll have to log off and then log back on for this to take effect.

Please Note: Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious, system-wide problems that may not be fixable.  Microsoft cannot guarantee that any problems resulting from the incorrect use of the Registry Editor can be solved. Use this tool at your own risk.

- Alternatively you can still use the same feature by downloading the windows xp mode on windows 7 from Microsoft website and link is

- For videos and online guide how to install XP mode
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