Can’t delete a folder because of the Thumbs.db

Consider the following scenario: You’ve been wanting to declutter your computer, and as you go through your files and folders, you come across a stubborn folder that refuses to be deleted. You try everything, but it just won’t budge. What could be causing this frustrating issue?

Hidden deep within that folder, you stumble upon an elusive Windows file called Thumbs.db. This file, previously unknown to you, seems to be the reason for your troubles. But what exactly is Thumbs.db, and why is it causing such a nuisance?

What is Thumbs.db?

Thumbs.db is a system file generated by Windows to store thumbnail images of the files in a folder. These thumbnail images are created to provide a visual preview of the files, allowing you to easily identify them. While Thumbs.db serves a useful purpose, it can become an annoyance when it prevents you from deleting a folder.

Stop the Thumbs.db from Generating

Fortunately, there are a few ways to tackle this problem. The first step is to disable the generation of Thumbs.db files for future folders. To do this, navigate to your computer’s File Explorer, click on the “View” tab, and then select “Options.” In the “Folder Options” window that appears, switch to the “View” tab and locate the “Advanced settings” section. Uncheck the box that says “Always show icons, never thumbnails” and click “Apply to Folders.” This will prevent Windows from generating Thumbs.db files for new folders.

Remove the Thumbs.db File

However, the Thumbs.db files that already exist in your folders will still pose a problem. To get rid of them, you have a couple of options. One method is to simply delete the Thumbs.db file manually whenever you encounter it. To do this, open the folder containing the Thumbs.db file, press “Ctrl + A” to select all files, and press “Delete.” Windows will ask for confirmation; choose “Yes” to delete the files. Keep in mind that Thumbs.db files may be hidden, so make sure to enable the visibility of hidden files in your File Explorer settings.

Another option is to use a script or a third-party software specifically designed to delete Thumbs.db files. These tools automate the process, saving you time and effort. However, be cautious when using such tools and make sure to scan them for malware beforehand, as downloading software from untrusted sources can be risky.


By following these steps and implementing the necessary changes, you can reclaim control over your folders and delete them without any hindrance from Thumbs.db files. Remember to exercise caution when modifying system files and always backup your data before making any changes.

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Andrew Armstrong

Founder of TechyGeeksHome and Head Editor for over 15 years! IT expert in multiple areas for over 26 years. Sharing experience and knowledge whenever possible! Making IT Happen.

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