Get Thumbs Out Of The Way

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

Key to Instructions
To help readers follow the instructions in this article, we used two different typefaces:
Boldface type is used to identify the names of icons, agendas and URLs.
Sans serif type shows commands and instructions users should type into the computer and the names of files.
  Q. When I browse though my files in Windows Explorer I keep coming across items called Thumbs.db. I accidentally deleted one and nothing untoward happened to my computer or any of the files. I’m curious, what are they?

A. Thumbs.db is a file that stores your digital graphics files. So when you command Explorer to display your files as thumbnails (see below), because you want to get a miniature image of a graphic file, Explorer turns to the Thumbs.db file to speed the display.

As you discovered, they can be erased; the only consequence would be a slight delay in generating the thumbnail image. If, on the other hand, you want to keep them but put them out of sight, go to Explorer and click on Folders , Tools , Folder Options , View and cursor down to and check Do not cache thumbnails (to stop creating them) or Do not show hidden files and folders (to keep them hidden).

Be aware, however, if you command Explorer to not show hidden files, that will affect all your hidden files.

 

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