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Windows 7: How turn off thumbnail previews

23 Oct 2009   #1

Windows XP
How turn off thumbnail previews

I am finding that the new thumbnail previews are, to me, more distracting than helpful.

Is there a way to turn them off?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 Oct 2009   #2

Windows 7

Hey wsplawn, welcome. Not sure which thumbnails you are talking about....

If you go to the Control Panel > Folder Options > View tab > check the first option "Always show icons, never thumbnails" will turn off picture thumbnails throughout Windows.

Thumbnail Previews - Enable or Disable


Aero Peek can be turned off by right clicking on the taskbar and selecting properties from the flyout menu. Then uncheck use Aero Peek. This will turn off the window preview you get when you hover over the taskbar.

Aero Peek - Turn On or Off
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2009   #3

Windows XP

Thank you for responding.

Part of the problem may be the way I am looking at it. We are all creatures of habit. I rather like being able to put the cursor over a, shall we say, WORD icon in the task bar and being able to point to one or the other word file and see what is in it, without actually opening it.

What throws me, however, is ALT-TAB. I am very used to using Alt-Tab to nagivate from one window to another. I find that in this instance, having the thumbnails there is more of distractation than a help. I would like it better if the names of the open files were just listed there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 Oct 2009   #4


Dude, get used to it! Once you do you will wonder how you ever got by without it! At work I find myself hovering on my taskbar icons in XP...and its irritating that nothing happens!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Oct 2009   #5

Windows XP


I think you are probably right. I think it's something I need to get used to and may learn to like more in the end. Just wondering what my options are.

Thank you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Oct 2009   #6

Windows XP

Now here's something interesting!

I don't know how I did it but I am now seeing things on screen the way I want it when pressing the Alt-Tab combination. Again, I don't know how I did it. I was fiddling around with personalizing my desktop backgrounds and sometime aftwards I pressed the Alt-Tab combination and it looks the way I want it to, and this is much easier for me to deal with.

When I press Alt-Tab, instead of showing a preview of each window, instead it just shows small icons and Windows Titles. For example, if I have a WORD file open I see just the WORD Icon and above it, the name of the WORD file, similar to how it was in XP.

This is what I want and what I would like to keep in the future. My question is, how did I get this feature turned on and how can I duplicate in in the future if I need to?

Any help with this is appreciated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Oct 2009   #7
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit SP1

You can disable thumbnail previews by doing this:
Thumbnail Previews - Enable or Disable
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2009   #8

Windows XP

Jaycee. Thank you. I have made note of the page and included it in my personal index. For interest sake I might mention that when I followed the steps in the link I discovered that "Always show icons, never thumnails" was not checked. And yet, I am no longer seeing thumbnails when I select Alt-Tab. Don't know why, but this happened once before when I first installed Windows 7.

Thank you for your help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How turn off thumbnail previews

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