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How To Repair Damaged or Corrupted Thumbs.db Files


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 can not 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.

  3. Once the thumbs.db file is located, right click on it and choose Delete.

    Note: If you can not delete the file, you may need to change the folder view to something other than the Thumbnail view. To do this, click on 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.

  4. To recreate the file, click on View and then Thumbnails from the menu in the folder that you deleted the thumbs.db file from. This will initiate the Thumbnails view and will automatically create a new copy of the thumbs.db file.


  1. Windows 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.

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