Restoring Preview Thumbnails


I was recently reviewing different graphics programs for showing video files when I noticed that Explorer now refuses to display a miniature version of video graphics files when I go to the thumbnail view. It still shows miniatures of picture files (.jpeg and .bmp) but not video files. What would cause this? Is it possible to fix it without reinstalling the OS (XP Pro)? The video files show the miniature version when exported to another computer, so there must be something different with my OS. I’ve tried everything I could think of but no luck.

—Stephen Brown

Whether or not thumbnail previews show up for video files depends on your file associations and DirectShow filters. If you’ve been installing and uninstalling different video players, your file associations could be messed up. Make sure video files are associated with the player that is currently installed on your machine and that it can handle video preview thumbnails. You can do this in Windows Explorer; just click the Tools menu, go to Folder Options, and hit the File Types tab. Then make sure you have preview thumbnails enabled for all file types that support them by going to the Start Menu, opening Run, typing regsvr32 shmedia.dll, then hitting Enter. You could also have a problem with your codec pack. The Doctor recommends uninstalling whatever codec packs you currently use and replacing them with ffdshow tryouts ( ).

By going to Windows Explorer's Tools menu, then Folder Options > File Types, you can change file associations and restore your graphical preview thumbnails.

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