Preview Pane does not show .txt files


BigZot

New member
Local time
7:33 AM
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11
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Windows 11
Hello there
I beg your pardon for my English and I'll try to use correct terms because of (my) different language system.

Few days ago I realized that Explorer did not show my text (*.txt) files.
Preview handler seems to don't work for this extension only. Other files (docx, xlsx, pdf, bmp, jpg and so on) work properly.

I have already asked answers.microsoft.com for help and unfortunately their suggestions are invalid.
Someoneelse suggested to use a TenForum tutorial written by Shawn Brink to restore correct association.
Giving a look to txt.reg file I noted that some keys are not similar to those I found inside Register file and although I'm not so expert I did not apply that suggestion.

Last thing I tried is to download and run ShellExView (by NirSoft) and I found out that "Windows txt Previewer" properties show following extensions:
.bat, .cmd, batfile, cmdfile, text.
My deduction is that ".txt" is missing. And, if I rename a .txt file into a .text file, preview pane works.

Do you have a suggestion to fix the problem?

Thank in advance
Stefano
 
Windows Build/Version
Win 11 Version 23H2 (build SO 22631.3447)

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
    Memory
    16.0 GB
Find a sample .txt file, right click and select 'Open With' select whatever app is opening the .text file, see if that corrects the association.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    WIN 10 Pro
Thanks Rollback_Jockey.
It does not work.

For information notepad (maybe it's the fault of the latest version, the one with the tabs?) is my default app for .txt files and selecting 'Open With' you can find it at the top. I tried to open .txt files with WordPad and with Word. No change observed.

Stefano
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
    Memory
    16.0 GB
It works in mine when the Preview pane is showing. On the toolbar click View and choose Preview. It takes just a short bit of time to show up after clicking a .txt file. It even works with .htm, .html, .pdf and .reg files. I could even view a .csv spreadsheet file, probably depends upon having Microsoft 365 [Office] installed.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win11 Pro RTM
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Vostro 3400
    CPU
    Intel Core i5 11th Gen. 2.40GHz
    Memory
    12GB
    Hard Drives
    256GB SSD NVMe
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro RTM x64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Vostro 5890
    CPU
    Intel Core i5 10th Gen. 2.90GHz
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Onboard, no VGA, using a DisplayPort-to-VGA adapter
    Monitor(s) Displays
    24" Dell
    Hard Drives
    512GB SSD NVMe, 2TB WDC HDD
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender/Microsoft Security
Hi Berton, thanks for replay.
For my choice I have Preview Pane always displayed. It helps me to identify better and quicker what I'm searching for.

Surfing and reading on Web I understood there are more Preview Handler and 'Windows txt Previewer' handles .txt .bat and .cmd files. I'd like having preview of other extensions, but this is O.T. and not related to my question.

Finally I can see (in my Preview Pane) both .bat and .cmd file, not .txt files. Even .csv files are displayed correctly.
If I rename a .txt file as a .text file, it works! Preview Pane shows that file!

Stefano
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
    Memory
    16.0 GB
Do you have anything installed that might affect previews, such as the PowerToys Explorer Add-ons?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10/11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer
You can perform a Clean Boot to check if there are conflicts with any startup programs. It is not suggested as a permanent change, it just helps provide diagnostics.

To perform a Clean Boot you can try following this Forum tutorial:

 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 5 5600
    Motherboard
    MSI B550-A Pro
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Sapphire Radeon RX 6500XT (8 GB version)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    BenQ Mobuiz EX2710Q QHD, Iiyama ProLite X23377HDS
    Hard Drives
    MSI Spatium M461 4TB
  • Operating System
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer A114
    CPU
    Intel Celeron N4020
Do you have anything installed that might affect previews, such as the PowerToys Explorer Add-ons?
Hi LesFerch, yes, I actually have it since July 2023.
Although I have never used it.

Long time ago I opened it and never used it because my difficulty in understanding English. Bear in mind that I even renamed it as PowerToys Preview believing it wasn't a working version.

And Preview Pane worked fine until last December, roughly.
Do you suggest I uninstall it?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
    Memory
    16.0 GB
Hello there
I beg your pardon for my English and I'll try to use correct terms because of (my) different language system.

Few days ago I realized that Explorer did not show my text (*.txt) files.
Preview handler seems to don't work for this extension only. Other files (docx, xlsx, pdf, bmp, jpg and so on) work properly.

I have already asked answers.microsoft.com for help and unfortunately their suggestions are invalid.
Someoneelse suggested to use a TenForum tutorial written by Shawn Brink to restore correct association.
Giving a look to txt.reg file I noted that some keys are not similar to those I found inside Register file and although I'm not so expert I did not apply that suggestion.

Last thing I tried is to download and run ShellExView (by NirSoft) and I found out that "Windows txt Previewer" properties show following extensions:
.bat, .cmd, batfile, cmdfile, text.
My deduction is that ".txt" is missing. And, if I rename a .txt file into a .text file, preview pane works.

Do you have a suggestion to fix the problem?

Thank in advance
Stefano
PreviewConfig may Help , Type .txt in search Box and Select as Plane-text and apply
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    10
    Computer type
    Tablet
    Graphics Card(s)
    BMW
    Sound Card
    BMW
  • Computer type
    Tablet
    Graphics card(s)
    BMW
    Sound Card
    BMW
You can perform a Clean Boot to check if there are conflicts with any startup programs. It is not suggested as a permanent change, it just helps provide diagnostics.

To perform a Clean Boot you can try following this Forum tutorial:

Hi iko22, thanks for suggestion.
Please, let the time for (well) understanding that tutorial and I'll let you know.
Stefano
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
    Memory
    16.0 GB
PreviewConfig may Help , Type .txt in search Box and Select as Plane-text and apply
Hello akbar291, thank you.
I remember that program used many years ago. Your link open a page explaining it is for Windows Vista and Win7.
I'll leave it as a last chance, in case I can't fix it.
I don't want everything to get messed up.
Stefano
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
    Memory
    16.0 GB
Hello everybody
I've just got new information about my question and would like to share.

I created a new account (local, not Microsoft) and gave it administrator privileges.
By opening Explorer and its Pane Preview I can read a .txt file as well as .bat .cmd and others.

I believe that my question is not related to my PC software and problem hides itself in my Current User Profile, does it?

What have I to do for "importing" such behavior in my original account?

Thanks in advance for helping me
Stefano
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
    Memory
    16.0 GB
I created a new account (local, not Microsoft) and gave it administrator privileges.
By opening Explorer and its Pane Preview I can read a .txt file as well as .bat .cmd and others.

What have I to do for "importing" such behavior in my original account?

Presumably the new account does not have the PowerToys Explorer add ins enabled, so I would start with disabling that on your original account.

Also, check this tutorial:

 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10/11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer
Presumably the new account does not have the PowerToys Explorer add ins enabled, so I would start with disabling that on your original account.
For disabling the PowerToys Explorer you intend to uninstall it or what else?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
    Memory
    16.0 GB
OK, I'll let you know.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
    Memory
    16.0 GB
If the problem persists, check this registry key:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\{6d2b5079-2f0b-48dd-ab7f-97cec514d30b}

Normally it would have one entry:

DllSurrogate REG_EXPAND_SZ %SystemRoot%\system32\prevhost.exe
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10/11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer
You don't have to uninstall. You can go into its settings and enable/disable individual tools.
YOU DID IT! Thank you. Once I disabled all items, Preview Pane works fine.
I don't understand why, but it works!
Thank you very very much!
Stefano
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
    Memory
    16.0 GB
If the problem persists, check this registry key:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\{6d2b5079-2f0b-48dd-ab7f-97cec514d30b}

Normally it would have one entry:

DllSurrogate REG_EXPAND_SZ %SystemRoot%\system32\prevhost.exe
Just for verification, that key has two entries: the 2nd one is that you wrote, in italian version first one is: (Predefinito) REG_SZ Preview Handler Surrogate Host
Predefinito means Default, I don't know how English Registry File states it.
Once more: Grazie!
Stefano
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
    Memory
    16.0 GB
Just for verification, that key has two entries: the 2nd one is that you wrote, in italian version first one is: (Predefinito) REG_SZ Preview Handler Surrogate Host
Predefinito means Default, I don't know how English Registry File states it.
Yes, mine also has the Default (Predefinito) entry, so that's all normal.

Updating PowerToys (if not already up to date) may allow for the Explorer add-ins to work correctly (if you care to use that feature). The last time I tested the source code previewer, it worked, but it caused plain text file previewing to be much slower than the default previewer, so I didn't use it. I opened an issue about the performance problem:


PowerToys has 5K+ open issues. Granted, it has a huge user base and many of those issues could be duplicates or user error or environmental, but still... wow. To be fair, the PowerToys tools I do use (e.g. File Locksmith) have worked fine for me.
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10/11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer

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