General Clear and Reset Thumbnail Cache in Windows 11

  • Staff
configuration_banner.png

Windows keeps a copy of all your picture, video, and document thumbnails in a cache so they can be reused to quickly display when you open a folder instead of having to manually scan and slowly load them each time.

The thumbnail cache can sometimes become corrupted causing thumbnails to display incorrectly or distorted. When this happens, the thumbnail cache needs to be deleted to reset it and automatically recreate as needed.

This tutorial will show you how to clear and reset the thumbnail cache for your account in Windows 10 and Windows 11.


The thumbnail cache .db files for each user is located in the hidden folder below.

%LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer
(C:\Users\{user-name}\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer)



Contents

  • Option One: Clear and Reset Thumbnail Cache in Disk Cleanup
  • Option Two: Clear and Reset Thumbnail Cache using BAT file





OPTION ONE

To Clear and Reset Thumbnail Cache in Disk Cleanup


1 Open Disk Cleanup (cleanmgr.exe).

2 Select the Windows C: drive, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

thumbnail_cache_Disk_Cleanup-1.png

3 Check the Thumbnails box, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

thumbnail_cache_Disk_Cleanup-2.png

4 Click/tap on Delete Files to confirm. (see screenshot below)

thumbnail_cache_Disk_Cleanup-3.png

5 When finished, restart the computer to fully apply.





OPTION TWO

Clear and Reset Thumbnail Cache using BAT file


1 Close and save anything that you are working on before proceeding. The next steps will involve restarting the explorer process.

2 Do step 3 or step 4 below for which .bat file you would like to use.

3 Use BAT file to Instantly Clear and Reset Thumbnail Cache without Details and Prompting

A) Click/tap on the download button below to download the BAT file below.​

Clear_and_Reset_Thumbnail_Cache.bat


(Content of BAT file for reference)
Code:
@echo off

echo.
taskkill /f /im explorer.exe
timeout 2 /nobreak>nul
echo.

DEL /F /S /Q /A %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer\thumbcache_*.db

timeout 2 /nobreak>nul
start explorer.exe

B) Save the BAT file to your desktop.​

C) Unblock and run the BAT file.​

D) You will now notice your screen flash as a command prompt opens and closes to kill the explorer process, delete your thumbnail cache, and restart the explorer process.​

E) When finished, restart the computer to fully apply.​

4 Use BAT file to Clear and Reset Thumbnail Cache with Details and Prompting

A) Click/tap on the download button below to download the BAT file below.​

Prompt_to_Clear_and_Reset_Thumbnail_Cache.bat


(Content of BAT file for reference)
Code:
@echo off

echo.
echo The explorer process must be temporarily killed before resetting the thumbnail cache.
echo.
echo Please SAVE ALL OPEN WORK before continuing.
echo.
pause

echo.
taskkill /f /im explorer.exe
timeout 2 /nobreak>nul
echo.

DEL /F /S /Q /A %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer\thumbcache_*.db

timeout 2 /nobreak>nul
start explorer.exe
echo.
pause

B) Save the BAT file to your desktop.​

C) Unblock and run the BAT file.​

D) Follow the instructions in the command prompt to rebuild your thumbnail cache. (see screenshot below)​

thumbnail_cache_command.png

E) When finished, restart the computer to fully apply.​


That's it,
Shawn Brink


 

Attachments

  • configuration.png
    configuration.png
    5.3 KB · Views: 10
  • Clear_and_Reset_Thumbnail_Cache.bat
    365 bytes · Views: 28
  • Prompt_to_Clear_and_Reset_Thumbnail_Cache.bat
    549 bytes · Views: 30
Last edited:

rsoyxihnark

New member
Local time
6:52 AM
Posts
7
Does not delete IconCache.db , how about adding this line and updating .bat's?

DEL /F /S /Q /A "%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\IconCache.db"
 

My Computer

System One

  • Operating System
    Windows 11

Brink

Administrator
Staff member
MVP
Thread Starter
Local time
9:52 PM
Posts
1,993
Does not delete IconCache.db , how about adding this line and updating .bat's?

DEL /F /S /Q /A "%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\IconCache.db"

Hello, :)

This tutorial is for the thumbnail cache instead of the icon cache below for the command you posted.

 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 980 PRO M.2,
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Motorola MB8611 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1
    CPU
    i7-1065G7 3.9 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR4-3200
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Plus
    Sound Card
    Intel SST
    Monitor(s) Displays
    13.3" 4K UWVA AMOLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
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