How to Enable or Disable the Thumbnail Cache

Would you like to free up some of your computer memory?  Windows XP’s default behavior stores Thumbnail views in cache in order to quickly display them when the user calls for them.  Although some memory may be freed if the thumbnails cache is disabled, this may cause some delay when opening folders.

The user must determine whether the extra memory made available by disabling the thumbnail cache is worth the possible delays in accessing folders.

If you would still like to go ahead with this Windows XP registsry tweak, you should remember to create a back-up prior to any registry modifications. 

If you would like to disable your thumbnail cache, follow the steps listed below.

  1. Click Start and go to Run.  Enter regedit.

  2. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER on the left side of the registry editor.  Expand this by clicking on the cross on the left.

  3. Once HKEY_CURRENT_USER has been expanded, look for the Software folder.  Expand the Software folder too.

  4. Now look for Microsoft.  When you find the folder, expand it until you get to Windows.

  5. Once inside Windows, go to CurrentVersion.  Move on to Explorer.

  6. Now go to Advanced.

  7. Look at the right hand side of the box.  Check and see if the DWORD value DisableThumbnailCache is present.  If the value is listed, jump to step 8.  If the value is not listed, follow the steps below to create DisableThumbnailCache:
    (1) Right click on the right pane of the box.

    (2) Select New and then select DWORD.

    (3) Rename the new value DisableThumbnailCache.  You can also choose to right click on the new DWORD value and select Rename.

  8. Double click on DisableThumbnailCache.  A new box will pop up.

  9. Enter 0 to disable the thumbnail cache.  Or, enter 1 to enable the thumbnail cache.  These values should be entered as Value Data for DisableThumbnailCache DWORD name.

  10. Exit the registry and reboot.