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Windows 7: Thumbnail Cache - Enable or Disable

29 Mar 2012   #10

Windows 7 Enterprise x64

I did think about the metadata as a source, and checked in properties>details but that's no help.
You prompted me to search for a better metadata tool and ExifTool would suggest that there is an embedded thumbnail.
However I'm not fully convinced that that is the source in Explorer for a reason I didn't detail before.
If you drag the scale up or down in the X-Large/Large/Medium/Small/List/Details/Tiles/Content dropdown, the upside-down, negative image suddenly becomes OK, then flips back, suggesting that more than one thumbnail exists at different scales, in exactly the way that explorer saves different sizes in its multiple dbs.
There's no indication in the exif that multiple thumbnails are embedded, but I'm going to look more deeply and I'll copy it back into the camera and see whether the Olympus firmware sees it wrong.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2013   #11

Windows 7 Enterprise x64

Long time later, but just for completeness.

This problem (registry and Group Policy both being ignored - thumbs cached regardless) still exists in Windows 8.
The solution of denying access to the .user\myname\appdata\....\explorer folder to all users and leaving it read-only for myself still works however.

Since the W8 system is completely new and the ghost (negative) thumbs mentioned are still around, "evolved"'s explanation of thumbs embedded in the metadata must be correct. W8 cannot possibly know that the image originated as a negative scan, so it must be finding it with the image.
Still a bit of a puzzle though.
W8 no longer has thumb-size slider in its ribbon so the positive/negative flip/flop doesn't occur, but no matter which thumbnail size is chosen, a negative thumb appears, indicating that W8 Explorer must be resizing the embedded metadata thumb, not the final image.
Here's a very useful website
Jeffrey's Exif viewer
which proves that the thumbnail is embedded in the metadata

Attached Thumbnails
Thumbnail Cache - Enable or Disable-exif.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Oct 2013   #12

Windows 7 64 bit Ultimate
Astounding Matter

Astounding Matter,

I was looking for a solution for an user that posted a problem in an other forum where a user was having a problem with a *.mp4 video file were instead of the video preview thumbnail there was exibited a thumbnail of the DVD cover of that movie.

I must say that when I looked into your problem I got amazed. I didn't even know that windows looks in metadata to exhibit thumbnails.

Have you tried right clicking the file, Proprieties, Details tab and remove personal information to see what happens?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Oct 2013   #13

Windows 7 Enterprise x64

I have found that Paint.NET will refresh the metadata thumbnail and align it with the actual image.
Just open/save without even making changes is sufficient.
Not sure what the situation is with movie files.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

19 Jan 2014   #14
Brian J Hoskins

Windows 7 Professional x64
Didn't work for me

I tried this tutorial but unfortunately no luck for me. Despite disabling the thumbnail cache as per the instructions and deleting the thumbnail files from the drive, new thumbnail files are created the instant that I select a thumbnail view mode in explorer.

Originally I suspected this might be due to the fact that I use Directory Opus as my file manager, not Windows Explorer (because Windows Explorer sucks). But even when I explicitly use Windows explorer to preview folder contents in thumbnail mode, the thumbnail .db files are recreated.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2014   #15

Windows 7 Enterprise x64

Did you read on down the thread ?
In post #6 I mentioned the only thing that actually works.
Ignore all the subsequent stuff about the cats, turns out that that was just embedded metadata and nothing to do with caching at all.
Setting group policy etc. has no effect whatsoever, so why MS provides such policy settings when they do nothing is a major question.
Turns out, the only way to prevent W7 (and W8) from cluttering your valuable SSD C drive space with unwanted junk in the form of thumbnails, is to navigate down to ...Users/yourname/appdata/local/Microsoft/Windows/Explorer
right click on that folder, select properties> security and remove all access to it.
Leave it so that only you (not the system) have access and remove your own ability to write inside it.
Just leave yourself with ownership and read access.

Make sure you do a disk cleanup first, or what's inside the cache will be stuck there forever wasting space.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Feb 2014   #16
Brian J Hoskins

Windows 7 Professional x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by terry60 View Post
Did you read on down the thread ?
In post #6 I mentioned the only thing that actually works.
Hello Terry.

Yes I did see your posts about preventing system access to the thumbnails folder. I accept this method as a potential solution. I guess I was still a bit confused as to why the original tutorial method doesn't work - I assume the author will have tested it and confirmed it to be working for him/her?

Anyway I agree - your method achieves what I want. Thanks for the input!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Feb 2014   #17

Windows 7 Enterprise x64

I don't know if the author was just helpfully publishing the theoretical method or passing on practical experience.
I suspect the former, since my personal experience on Windows 7 and 8 on two PCs, is that though the GPE is quite unequivocal - "Turn off caching......", whoever coded explorer clearly doesn't consult that resource, since it demonstrably has absolutely no effect whatsoever on the caching behaviour implemented.
I imagine that there must be a fair number of PCs out there whose installers imagine them to be safe, but are actually replete with confidential images just waiting to be exploited by financially motivated end-users.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2014   #18
Brian J Hoskins

Windows 7 Professional x64

Yes indeed. I agree with your points and would echo your concerns about misguided impressions of privacy. You would hope that people will test the results of changing the group policies before relying upon it. Skepticism is our friend here


My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2014   #19

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Ok fellas, I've updated the .reg file in step 2 OPTION ONE to see if that may help more.

I just love it when a group policy doesn't do completely what it claims anymore.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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