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WinXPTutor's XP Resources

Windows XP Tips, Illustrations and registry edits

Unable to remove the Thumbnail image for system folders in XP?






Occasionally, the system folders such as Program Files, My Music or My Documents may display invalid image file while in Thumbnail view. As the system folders do not have a Customize tab in the Folder Properties, it's not possible to change or remove the Thumbnail picture via the user interface. Here are the steps you need to perform in order to reset the thumbnail picture for system folders.

Phase I:   Reset all the folder view settings

  • Open My Computer, select Folder Options in the Tools menu
  • In the View tab, click Reset all Folders
  • Click OK and close the dialog

Now the Thumbnail reference for the system folder is removed from the registry. The above steps, of course, resets all of the folder view settings. But never mind, you can customize them again.

Phase II:   Delete the Thumbs.db - Thumbnail database

With this done, Windows XP still maintains the thumbnail cache of the folder picture. You will need to enable Windows Explorer to Show all files and then delete the file thumbs.db inside the particular folder.

More Information

The thumbnail image for a folder is stored in the following area of the registry:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ ShellNoRoam \ Bags \<number>\Shell

in a REG_SZ value named Logo (containing the full path to the image file)

<number> varies for each folder. While you can reset an individual folder preference by locating the <number> for that special folder using Process Explorer, it may be time consuming. Simple reset all folder view would be enough.

Example: (see Fig:3)

HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ ShellNoRoam \ Bags \ 1 \ Shell