Fix Thumbnails not showing in Onedrive folder

Onedrive is one of the most used application in Windows 10 & Windows 11. Many Users are facing a problem in which thumbnails are not being shown in onedrive folder. The user after uploading images to OneDrive initially and it showed preview without any issue earlier. But, now all the users can see is default image icon and not the preview. It becomes very difficult to identify and to pick any image, as preview is not present and no one names images particularly, so this issue is becoming headache for users. If you are also one of the users who can not see thumbnail preview in Onedrive, here is the fix.

You do not need to worry if you are also not being able to view thumbnails in onedrive folder on your pc, as the steps given above can easily fix your problem.

Fix 1 – Disable file on demand in onedrive settings

1. Click on onedrive icon on the taskbar.

2. Click on three dots below more.

3. Click on settings.


Settings Onedrive Min


4. Click on settings tab.

5. Now, make sure that file on demand option is unchecked.


Disable File On Demand Onedrive Min

Fix 2 – Always shows icons settings

1. Go to file explorer and click on view.

2. Make sure that one of the option from Extra large icons, large icons or medium icons is selected.


File Explorer View Large Icons Min


3. search file explorer options in windows search box.


File Explorer Options Min


4. click on view tab.


Always Shows Icons Never Thumbnails Min


5. Make sure that Always shows icons never thumbnails is unchecked.

6. Now press windows key + r together to open run command box.

7. write sysdm.cpl in it and click OK.


Sysdm Cpl Min


8. Click on Advanced tab.

9. Click on settings.


Advanced Settings Min


10. Make sure Show thumbnails instead of icons option is checked.


Show Thumbnails Instead Icons

Now, go on and open the folder. your thumbnails will be there for you.

Hope your problem of preview not showing has been sorted from this article. If you face any further issue, please leave a comment below.

Fix 3 – Clear Cache of Thumbnails

1 -Search Disk Cleanup in Windows taskbar search box.

2 -Now, click on Disk cleanup from the search result you see.

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3 – Click OK.

4 – Select Thumbnails from the list and click OK.


Thumbnails Cache 1 Min

Fix 4 – Move Onedrive to another drive

1- First of all Close OneDrive application completely.

2 – Go to the Onedrive folder.

2-  Lest Say this Onedrive folder is located in C Drive. Now, Move everything that has this problem to another drive , Like D or E or whatever drive you have in your PC.

3- Now, check whether the thumbnails are working fine or not.

4- Now you can move thejm to original location.

5- Start OneDrive again and your issue will be fixed.

23 thoughts on “Fix Thumbnails not showing in Onedrive folder”

  1. Yeah it work!!!
    Just unchecked the box in OneDrive setting and unchecked another box in folder setting
    Thank you <3

  2. Thank you, Saurav, for sharing so well your investigation… but it didn’t work for me.

    What it did solve my problem was Colleen’s suggestion on April 11, she was right on the spot. I’ve changed my setting for “BEST APPEARANCE” (instead of Best Performance) and right away all the thumbnails started to show on every folder.

    Thank you, Colleen, well done.


  3. after going through the steps above to download files, not turn off “files on Demand”, when i select a group of files and download them, still it does not show the thumbnail or preview. a few files show the thumbnail, but none show the preview.

  4. Yeah, it was the “files on demand” setting for me as well…
    And that I unchecked it, a lot of my files disappeared… I hate OneDrive lol I don’t even use it and it’s making my life pretty much impossible… (for the record, I accidentally clicked it a couple times and every time it messes everything up)

  5. The whole point of Onedrive is to not have to store your files on your local drive, because they are stored on Onedrive servers. So unchecking the files on demand option defeats the entire purpose of Onedrive because it then downloads your entire Onedrive contents to your local drive… Not really a valid “fix” if you ask me. More of a band-aid workaround for people not using that much storage space on their Onedrive accounts.

  6. My issue is that I need files on demand in order to save space when not using certain files. Would you happen to have a workaround for that?

  7. I found my problem Settings>About>Advanced system settings (on right)/performance/settings> visual effects/Adjust for best appearance. This was not checked. That took care of almost everything immediately. Now all I have to do is find a way to get my graphic program preview thumbs back.

  8. I hoped this would help but none of them worked not even the last one which was the only one not the same. I just bought this hp and every time I turn it on ALL my png jpg and graphic files are just icons. I have spent days trying everything I read including opening everything and resaving each one but loose them after I restart.

  9. This is a good solution however I need files on demand in order to save space when not using certain files. Would you happen to have a workaround for that?

  10. Brilliant, files on demand was my problem and it was an issue that was driving me crazy. Thank goodness I found this. Thanks again

  11. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!! Files on Demand was the issue in seeing the pdf thumbnails. You solved a frustrating issue for me that was preventing me from seeing all my designs at once. Now I can browse all my designs (on pdfs) quickly.

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