How to 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 don’t want to see thumbnails and instead okay (or want) to see icons, then follow any one of the below methods.

Table of Contents

Method #1


  1. Open the File Explorer Options.

  2. Now, go to the “View” tab.

  3. Find and check the option “Always show icons, never thumbnails.” Selected Always show icons, never thumbnails option

  4. Click on the “Ok” button.

That’s all. From now on, you can see icons only on File Explorer and Desktop.

Icons are showing in Windows 10 File Explorer

If you want to revert, follow the above steps and instead of checking, uncheck “Always show icons, never thumbnails.”

Method #2

Launch Control Panel. Click System > Advanced system settings.

In the “System Properties” popup, click on the “Advanced” tab.

Click on the “Settings” button under the “Performance” section.

In the “Performance Options” popup, find and unselect “Show thumbnails instead of icons.”

Canceled the selection of Show thumbnails instead of icons option

Hit the “Ok” button in the popup.

You can revert at any time you want by following the above steps and instead of unselecting, select “Show thumbnails instead of icons” option.

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