How to Make Windows 10 File Explorer to Show Icons Instead of Thumbnails

In my posts, I’ve already talked about the status bar, the full path in the title bar, empty drives, pop-up description, folder merge conflicts, drive letters, Use check boxes to select items, Restore previous folder windows at logon, and folder size information in folder tips.

In this post, we will see the steps to make File Explorer show icons instead of thumbnails. Let us start.

Make Windows 10 File Explorer to Show Icons Instead of Thumbnails

By default, your Windows 10 File Explorer and desktop will show thumbnails for files and folders.

File and folder thumbnails are showing in Windows 10 File Explorer

If you do not want to see thumbnails but instead okay (or want) to see icons, then follow the instructions below.

  1. Open File Explorer Options.
  1. Go to the View tab.
  1. Select Always show icons, never thumbnails option.
Selected Always show icons, never thumbnails option
  1. Click on the Ok button at the bottom.

From this point on, you can see icons only on File Explorer and desktop.

Icons are showing in Windows 10 File Explorer

Note: If you want to revert to default, uncheck the above option.

Alternative Way

  1. In the System Properties pop-up, click on the Advanced tab.
  1. Click on the Settings button under the Performance section.
  1. In the Performance Options pop-up, unselect Show thumbnails instead of icons option.
Canceled the selection of Show thumbnails instead of icons option
  1. Hit the Ok button on the pop-up.

Note: Keep in mind that you can go back by selecting the above option.