The Easiest Way To See Photoshop Thumbnails In Windows Explorer

July 7, 2011 \ Categories: Tips & Tricks

It seems like every couple of years I’m trying to solve this problem: viewing Photoshop (PSD) files as Thumbnails in Windows Explorer only shows a generic icon and not an actual thumbnail preview like you get with other image file types. I remember finding ways to fix this on Windows XP and Windows Vista, but recently had more trouble fixing it for Windows 7. I researched, downloaded, and installed a few programs that should have worked, but none of them did. I was beginning to think I would have to pay for a program just to see those stupid thumbnails.

Then, buried in some faceless message board, I found a link to Pictus. Pictus is actually an image viewer, useful if you want a fast way to view full size images and scroll through multiple files quickly. But as an added bonus, the program gives Windows Explorer the ability to display PSD files (and other image formats) as thumbnails! It’s fast, free, and better than any other solution out there. What’s especially cool is that if you use Windows 7’s File Preview Pane, PSD files will show full previews there as well! Check it out:

PSD File Thumbnail in Windows Explorer

PSD File Thumbnail in Windows Explorer

I love it when I can find a simple solution that fixes a very specific problem. Thank you internet.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  • JR says:

    THANK YOU! I go through the same thing with each new Win release, and the solution is ever-changing. (And as a graphics designer, it’s imperative I be able to see .PSD thumbnails in Explorer.) After trying a number of suggestions, I found your post — this is the first and only solution I’ve found that works. You have my eternal gratitude for mentioning this!

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