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Windows 7: How to enable thumbnails in only 1 folder

19 May 2018   #1
Zoandar

Windows 7 x64 bit Home Premium
 
 
How to enable thumbnails in only 1 folder

Is it possible to enable thumbnail view in only a single folder, and display only icon view in all the other folders, in Explorer? If I enable thumbnail view, it brings Explorer file tree navigation to a standstill. But I have 1 folder I would like to see thumbnails in. Can I do this somehow?

Please excuse if this is covered already, I looked at dozens of posts about thumbnails and couldn't find the answer I seek.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 May 2018   #2
lehnerus2000

W7 Ultimate SP1, LM18.3 MATE, W10 Home, #All 64 bit
 
 
Folder Template

You could try to use the Folder Templates to do this.

Tutorial
Folder View - Apply to Folders

For example, you could set all of your folders to "General Items" Folder Template.
Then choose the folder you want to have the Thumbnail View (make sure it is set to a different Folder Template) and apply it.


I have my folders all set to "Details View", except for my Picture folders.

I used the "Details View" to set up what details (column headings) I want.
I have 5 columns that are common to all my Folder Template (including Pictures).
After I have set up my default columns, I apply them to all of my folders.

Then I pick a picture folder:
  • Set the Folder Template to Pictures
  • Set the the view to Thumbnails (it still remembers the Details I chose, so that I can use "Sort by" & "Group by")
  • Apply it to all of my picture folders
How to enable thumbnails in only 1 folder-folder-templates-2016-02.png

How to enable thumbnails in only 1 folder-we-folder-templates-views.png


My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2018   #3
Zoandar

Windows 7 x64 bit Home Premium
 
 

Thank you very much! I will try your technique and see if it solves my problem. ☺
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 May 2018   #4
Zoandar

Windows 7 x64 bit Home Premium
 
 

Your suggestion doesn't seem to help my problem. It seems my issue may be a little different.

What I am trying to do is prevent Windows Explorer from very seriously lagging while copying files from specific sub-folders on, for example, a blu-ray disc I made. It has 19GB on it, in 18 folders. Each of the 18 folders has a "scenery" sub-folder. (This is photo-realistic satellite image scenery I made for MS Flight Simulator X).

So as a test, I navigate the file tree on the disc repeatedly opening each of the 18 main folders in turn, then their scenery sub-folder, copy a couple .BGL files they hold over to a hard drive, navigate back out to the list of 18 main folders, select the next one of those, rinse and repeat. The only way I have found to prevent very serious lag (the cursor turns into a spinning circle, the Explorer window is blank, and the internal SATA blu-ray drive LED flashes continuously) is to do this - as seen in the attached image, I have to check that very first checkbox (it is unchecked in the image) for "always show icons, never thumbnails". Unless I do that, things grind to a halt. AND....stay that way, until I either log off and back on or reboot. Even if I go back and re-check that checkbox, once the lag has started it continues.

I think what's happening is Win7 is looking through the entire 19GB disc for photos to make thumbnails.

This setting seems to be universal. it is visible both when looking at your entire collection of drives, or when looking at a single folder. But if you un-check it for a single folder, it gets un-checked for the whole computer's file system. If I leave that box checked, I can fly through the file tree on the disc as fast as I can move the mouse around. It is instantaneous. But, it prevents me from seeing thumbnails even in the one folder I told to be set for pictures. The only way I can see thumbnails in it is to un-check that checkbox, grinding disc access to a halt.


Attached Images
How to enable thumbnails in only 1 folder-monday-may-21-2018.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 May 2018   #5
lehnerus2000

W7 Ultimate SP1, LM18.3 MATE, W10 Home, #All 64 bit
 
 

Perhaps "Auto-Folder Discovery" is responsible.
I had to change that to prevent WE from changing my Folder Templates when it discovered an image in a folder.

Create a Registry Backup (or better yet a Backup OS Image using something like Macrium Reflect).

I prefer to use Macrium Reflect Free Edition.
After you install it, create a recovery CD/USB
Then create your Backup Image.
Make sure you use the Verify option or verify the image after you have made it.

Tutorial
Imaging with free Macrium

If anything goes wrong, you can restore your PC using the Backup Image

Once you have created your backup, try disabling "Auto-Folder Discovery" in the Registry.

Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\AllFolders\Shell]
"FolderType"="NotSpecified"
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2018   #6
Zoandar

Windows 7 x64 bit Home Premium
 
 

I just finished making a System Image backup, so I hope to try your suggestion later today.

Thanks! ☺
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2018   #7
Zoandar

Windows 7 x64 bit Home Premium
 
 

Although I have edited Windows registry many times without incident, I usually had very specific instructions to follow. Could you please elaborate on exactly what you want me to add here (there is no existing "FolderType"="NotSpecified" listing) ? I have various choices and no idea which one to use? Did you mean to enter a new String Value?

I found this article telling a similar, but much more detailed, procedure, so I tried that. Hopefully it is what you meant. :)

Disable Automatic Folder Type Discovery for Templates in Windows 10 / 8 / 7 / Vista - Tech Journey

Well, thanks for the attempt. But it did not make any difference. I still must un-check the "always show icons-never thumbnails" option in Explorer/Folder Options/View in order to see the thumbnails in my chosen individual folder, and once I do that, even with this registry change, it enables thumbnails in ALL folders, and begins the extreme lag trying to read the blu-ray disc. But as long as I leave that checkbox checked (after logging off and back on again) blu-ray disc access flies right along. There has to be some way to enable thumbnails in a single folder without dragging the entire PC into the mud. Or if nothing else, enable thumbnails on hard drives, but exclude them on optical media. That would probably be acceptable in my case.

Thanks!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2018   #8
lehnerus2000

W7 Ultimate SP1, LM18.3 MATE, W10 Home, #All 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Zoandar View Post
Although I have edited Windows registry many times without incident, I usually had very specific instructions to follow. Could you please elaborate on exactly what you want me to add here (there is no existing "FolderType"="NotSpecified" listing) ? I have various choices and no idea which one to use? Did you mean to enter a new String Value?

I found this article telling a similar, but much more detailed, procedure, so I tried that. Hopefully it is what you meant. :)

Disable Automatic Folder Type Discovery for Templates in Windows 10 / 8 / 7 / Vista - Tech Journey
My bad.
I got the info years ago from a different article.
I created a ".reg" file and stored it away for use on new installs.

The code I posted could be copied into Notepad and then saved as a ".reg" file.
When you run that file it will:
  • Add the key if it doesn't exist
  • Change the existing value if it does exist

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Zoandar View Post
Well, thanks for the attempt. But it did not make any difference. I still must un-check the "always show icons-never thumbnails" option in Explorer/Folder Options/View in order to see the thumbnails in my chosen individual folder, and once I do that, even with this registry change, it enables thumbnails in ALL folders, and begins the extreme lag trying to read the blu-ray disc. But as long as I leave that checkbox checked (after logging off and back on again) blu-ray disc access flies right along. There has to be some way to enable thumbnails in a single folder without dragging the entire PC into the mud. Or if nothing else, enable thumbnails on hard drives, but exclude them on optical media. That would probably be acceptable in my case.
Sorry that wasn't helpful.

I wondered if it was an optical drive issue.
Windows Explorer is slower when it has to read optical drives.

A Blu-Ray disc could have an enormous number of files/images, combined with a lower read speed than HDDs/SSDs, would cause significant delays in WE.


Another possibility, do you have software that automatically generates thumbnails?

For example, I use K-Lite Codec pack and it includes a thumbnail generation tool (Icaros?).
I always deselect it during installation, because I assumed it automatically runs once installed and I don't use video thumbnails because of the delay they cause when viewing folders.

I just tried viewing a CD and images are showing as icons by default.
How to enable thumbnails in only 1 folder-we-cd-image-icons.png
Another possibility, perhaps something has corrupted some code in your Windows install, or it didn't install correctly in the first place.

The way the Fonts folder worked on my first W7 install was different to members PCs here.
In my subsequent new installs, the Fonts folder worked the same as people here reported.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 May 2018   #9
Zoandar

Windows 7 x64 bit Home Premium
 
 

I Found out something interesting tonight. This is definitely a Windows Explorer issue, because out of curiosity I installed Free Commander XE, and even when I turn on thumbnail views on the blu-ray disc, although it slows down some, it accesses the files far more quickly than Windows Explorer can with thumbnails enabled.

I learned about Free Commander while working with the MS Flight Simulator X SDK files. Amazingly, Windows Explorer cannot read them from the disc! But I found through research online that Free Commander can. So I use it whenever I get into something sticky with Windows Explorer. In Free Commander the option to view thumbnails is also specific to the window being viewed (it has dual window panes like the older Windows OS version file utility had) and I can actually have thumbnails from one hard drive showing on one side of the window, with detailed view and very fast file access to the blu-ray disc files on the other side of the window. I wish Explorer worked that way.

Thanks for the suggestions! :)

For now I think I'll just live with things the way they are. If I decide I want the thumbnails to show on that folder, I can turn them on in Explorer, and then just use Free Commander when working with files on large drives or media. My desire for those thumbnails is actually not displayed in Explorer itself, but in Paperport, which uses an Explorer derived window to show me the thumbnails of small BMP images which are tied to its "Stamp" tool (like stamping PAID on a PDF of an invoice, for example). It's easier to quickly find the stamp I want if I can see the thumbnails of them, rather than having to look for one by its file name.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 May 2018   #10
lehnerus2000

W7 Ultimate SP1, LM18.3 MATE, W10 Home, #All 64 bit
 
 

I have FreeCommander installed.

The twin panes, tabs and mass rename tool are really handy.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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