Hardware

How to delete Thumbs.db Files in Network folder in Windows 11/10


If you have ever found thumb.db files in a Network folder where several computer users are connected to each other and access the same folders, you know it’s hard to delete them as they are read as System files. It may create problems for system administrators and users in such cases.

Remove thumbs.db files in a Network folder in Windows 11/10

Thumbs.db files aren’t the files you create in your system but built automatically when you access a folder that contains pictures so that the thumbnails can be cached and the contents in a folder can be displayed faster. The files aren’t visible unless you configure the File Explorer to show them.

So, by default, Windows OS will create thumbs.db files within folders on Network drives and a centralized thumbnail cache in %LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer for files on local drives.

At times, they can stop Windows from deleting or removing a folder, especially on a network, where multiple computers are accessing the same folders. If you wish to delete thumbs.db files in a Network folder, there’s how you can do it:

  1. Launch File Explorer.
  2. Go to the folder you want to delete.
  3. Select the View tab.
  4. Check the Hidden items box.
  5. Choose the Details pane from the Layout section.
  6. Select the thumbs.db file to delete.
  7. Delete it.

Firstly, launch the Explorer. You can use the shortcut Win+E to launch the File Explorer directly.

Find the folder you want to delete. When found, click the View tab and check the Hidden Items box under the Show/Hide section.

Thereafter, switch to the Details pane under the Layout section and choose the thumbs.db files to delete.

When prompted with a message, click Yes to confirm.

If you can delete it, good, else you may need to first disable thumbs.db creation and then try.

Read: The action can’t be completed because the file is open in another program.

Disable thumbs.db using Group Policy Editor

If you wish, you may also Disable thumbs.db with Group Policy Editor.

Press Win+R in combination to open the Run command dialog box.

In the empty field of the box, type gpedit.msc and hit the OK button.

When the Local Group Policy Editor window opens, navigate to the following path address –

User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > File Explorer.

delete Thumbs.db Files in Network folder

Double-click the option and in the other window that appears on your computer screen, check the Enabled option to disable the feature.

Click Apply and OK.

Finally, restart your PC to allow the changes to take effect.

Related: How to disable Windows Thumbs.db files from being created

Turn off Thumbnail DB creation via Registry Editor

An alternative way to disable the thumbs.db files in Windows is via Registry change. Here’s how to do it!

Please note that making changes to the Registry Editor incorrectly can have serious consequences. System-wide problems can occur that may require you to reinstall Windows to correct them. Kindly proceed at your own risk and create a System Restore point first.

Press Win+R in combination to open the Run command dialog box.

In the empty field of the box, type Regedit and hit the OK button.

When the Registry Editor window opens, navigate to the following path address –

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows.

Here, right-click the Windows folder, select New, and choose the Key option.

Name the key as Explorer and hit the Enter key.

Now, right-click the newly created Explorer key and select New.

Then, click on the DWORD (32-bit) Value option.

Name the DWORD DisableThumbsDBOnNetworkFolders and press Enter.

Double-click the newly created DWORD to edit its value.

In the Edit String box that appears, change the default value from 0 to 1.

Click the OK button, when done.

Restart your computer.

Now, when you try to delete the Thumbs.db files in Windows you should be able to remove the files without hassles.

That’s all there is to it!


You may also like...