How to Repair Damaged or Corrupted Thumbs.db Files

Error on computer screen
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Thumbs.db files can sometimes become damaged or corrupted which can cause some very specific problems in Windows.

Sometimes one or more damaged or corrupted thumbs.db files can cause problems when navigating around folders with multimedia content, or they could be the cause of error messages like "Explorer caused an invalid page fault in module Kernel32.dll" and similar messages.

Repairing thumbs.db files is a pretty simple task considering Windows will regenerate the file when the particular folder it's contained in is viewed in the Thumbnails view.

Follow these easy steps to repair thumbs.db files.

Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Repairing thumbs.db files usually takes less than 15 minutes

Here's How

  1. Open the folder that you suspect the damaged or corrupted thumbs.db file to be contained in.
  2. Locate the thumbs.db file. If you cannot see the file, your computer may be configured to not show hidden files. If that is the case, change the folder options to allow the display of hidden files. See How Do I Show Hidden Files and Folders in Windows? for instructions.
  3. Once you locate the thumbs.db file, right click on it and choose Delete.
  4. To recreate the file, select View and then Thumbnails from the menu in the folder from which you deleted the thumbs.db file. Doing this will initiate the Thumbnails view and will automatically create a new copy of the thumbs.db file.

If you cannot delete the file, you may need to change the folder view to something other than the Thumbnail view. To do this, select View and then choose either Tiles, Icons, List, or Details. Depending on your version of the Windows operating system, some of these options may vary slightly.


Windows 10, Windows 8Windows 7, and Windows Vista do not use the thumbs.db file. The thumbnail database thumbcache_xxxx.db in these Windows versions is centrally located in the \Users\[username]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer folder.