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Windows 7: Can't Delete Thumbs.db

16 Feb 2010   #1

Windows 7
 
 
Can't Delete Thumbs.db

When I try to delete a folder, I sometimes get:

"Cannot delete thumbs. It is being used by another person
or program. Close any programs that might be using the
file and try again".

Sometimes, I can click on another folder, go back to it and delete it then.

I've read about some workarounds, but this requires suppressing Windows Features such as:

Always show icons, never thumbnails

Thanks for any help.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

16 Feb 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Pbusardo,

You can also use Disk Cleanup to clear and reset the thumbnail cache if that was your intensions. The free program CCleaner is a great program for this as well.

Thumbnail Cache - Clear and Reset

If you are having icon issues displaying incorrectly, then you might also consider this:

Icon Cache - Rebuild

Hope this helps,
Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Mar 2010   #3

Win7
 
 
You won't beleive this... but here is the fix

Uninstall Adobe Reader, restart, and it will stop.

Then you can re-install Adobe Reader and the problem doesn't come back.

I feel like I'm in the twilight zone, but it works!

WINDOWS 7 BUG: Explorer Locks "thumbs.db" in most recently viewed folder
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


05 Mar 2010   #4
NoN

Windows 7 Professional SP1 - x64 [Non-UEFI Boot]
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pbusardo View Post
When I try to delete a folder, I sometimes get:

"Cannot delete thumbs. It is being used by another person
or program. Close any programs that might be using the
file and try again".

Sometimes, I can click on another folder, go back to it and delete it then.

I've read about some workarounds, but this requires suppressing Windows Features such as:

Always show icons, never thumbnails

Thanks for any help.
You can also copy from system32 the "cmd.exe" in C:/ ,then open cmd.exe as elevated prompt and type: del /ash /s thumbs.db

It will scan all thumb.db on your drive and delete them. You can also do that for all your Hdd.

Do not forget to delete cmd.exe (not the one in system32) from drives after finished the cleaning job.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Mar 2010   #5

Win7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by NoN View Post

You can also copy from system32 the "cmd.exe" in C:/ ,then open cmd.exe as elevated prompt and type: del /ash /s thumbs.db

It will scan all thumb.db on your drive and delete them. You can also do that for all your Hdd.

Do not forget to delete cmd.exe (not the one in system32) from drives after finished the cleaning job.
NoN, you don't need to copy cmd.exe to do that. If you just type "cmd" in the search window, cmd.exe pops up, then all you have to do is right-click, "run as administrator," then pin the app to your taskbar if you like.

But let's be clear here, deleting ALL thumbs.db files for your entire disk is a complete waste of time! The PC will just create a new thumbs.db as soon as the folder is opened again. Therefore, this is neither a fix nor a workaround. It's just going to take a ton of time, make your drive grind like crazy and the problem won't even go away. The system will re-create all thumbs.db files as soon as the folders are accessed again.

Just do what I did, the real fix is to remove and reinstall Adobe Reader. Then you don't have to deal with the issue at all.

PS. Thumbnails are a great feature and they are very useful when looking at folders full of pics. All other solutions posted by Microsoft geeks all over the net involve turning off thumbnails completely, but then all of your pictures look like simple icons which is incredibly lame. Of course, music files look like icons anyway and In my case I was constantly running into this problem when sorting my music collection. I realized a long time ago, going to a different folder and then coming back after about a minute would allow me to delete the folder, but only if I didn't view the contents first. Again, because viewing the contents of a folder in Windows 7 (and Vista) will generate thumbnails which are stored in the hidden "thumbs.db" file, by design.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Mar 2010   #6

Windows 8.1 Pro (x64)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by KelJow View Post
Again, because viewing the contents of a folder in Windows 7 (and Vista) will generate thumbnails which are stored in the hidden "thumbs.db" file, by design.
No, Windows Vista and 7 only create "thumbs.db" for network locations (shared files). You are confusing with Windows XP's behavior. Windows Vista and 7 now save thumbnails here: C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer

If you have group policy I can show you how to turn off network thumbnail caching and local caching.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Mar 2010   #7
NoN

Windows 7 Professional SP1 - x64 [Non-UEFI Boot]
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by KelJow View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by NoN View Post

You can also copy from system32 the "cmd.exe" in C:/ ,then open cmd.exe as elevated prompt and type: del /ash /s thumbs.db

It will scan all thumb.db on your drive and delete them. You can also do that for all your Hdd.

Do not forget to delete cmd.exe (not the one in system32) from drives after finished the cleaning job.
NoN, you don't need to copy cmd.exe to do that. If you just type "cmd" in the search window, cmd.exe pops up, then all you have to do is right-click, "run as administrator," then pin the app to your taskbar if you like.

But let's be clear here, deleting ALL thumbs.db files for your entire disk is a complete waste of time! The PC will just create a new thumbs.db as soon as the folder is opened again. Therefore, this is neither a fix nor a workaround. It's just going to take a ton of time, make your drive grind like crazy and the problem won't even go away. The system will re-create all thumbs.db files as soon as the folders are accessed again.

Just do what I did, the real fix is to remove and reinstall Adobe Reader. Then you don't have to deal with the issue at all.

PS. Thumbnails are a great feature and they are very useful when looking at folders full of pics. All other solutions posted by Microsoft geeks all over the net involve turning off thumbnails completely, but then all of your pictures look like simple icons which is incredibly lame. Of course, music files look like icons anyway and In my case I was constantly running into this problem when sorting my music collection. I realized a long time ago, going to a different folder and then coming back after about a minute would allow me to delete the folder, but only if I didn't view the contents first. Again, because viewing the contents of a folder in Windows 7 (and Vista) will generate thumbnails which are stored in the hidden "thumbs.db" file, by design.
Hi,

Well, i'm using this cmd.exe "del /ash /s thumbs.db " only before backing up files from my shared folders, as the backing sofware do not apply/save thumb.db even if it does skip them, so i prefere clear it before backing up!

I do use thumbnails most of the time and it is turned on.

Thank for for having clearing it!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Mar 2010   #8

Win7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by logicearth View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by KelJow View Post
Again, because viewing the contents of a folder in Windows 7 (and Vista) will generate thumbnails which are stored in the hidden "thumbs.db" file, by design.
No, Windows Vista and 7 only create "thumbs.db" for network locations (shared files). You are confusing with Windows XP's behavior. Windows Vista and 7 now save thumbnails here: C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer

If you have group policy I can show you how to turn off network thumbnail caching and local caching.
Network locations are what the entire thread is talking about. We have been referring to that the entire time. I'm not confused, I just didn't think I had to repeat that fact at every point since it's assumed in context.

Group policy modification isn't necessary, it's better to turn it off in folder options. Then you don't have to mess with all the users on the machine. Just the users who have difficulty. But still, it's not a fix just a workaround.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Mar 2010   #9

Windows 8.1 Pro (x64)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by KelJow View Post
Network locations are what the entire thread is talking about. We have been referring to that the entire time. I'm not confused, I just didn't think I had to repeat that fact at every point since it's assumed in context.
What? There is not a single reference to "network" in this entire thread until I mentioned it. You could just admit you were mistaken...

Quote:
Group policy modification isn't necessary, it's better to turn it off in folder options.
There is no option to turn off thumbnail caching in Folder Options, you can only turn off thumbnails which is not wanted.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2010   #10

 

Adobe reader has nothing to do with it. I don't have it installed - I use Foxit and have the same problem. There is a fix here, but I have not tried it yet.

Thumbnail Cache - Enable or Disable
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Can't Delete Thumbs.db




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