How to Preview Files, Images, and Videos in File Explorer on Windows 11/10?

Previewing files in Windows is definitely a useful feature. It allows you to see a file’s content without opening it. But not many users know about how to preview files, images, and Videos in File Explorer on Windows 11/10.

If the same goes for you, too, then don’t worry I am here to guide you with all the steps. However, there is already the thumbnail preview, but that doesn’t perform as well as the File Explorer preview.

So let me just go ahead and tell you the steps you have to follow.

Preview Files Images Videos File Explorer Windows

How to Preview Files, Images, and Videos in File Explorer on Windows 11/10?

To preview files, videos, or images, and other supported files types in the folder, you will first need to enable the preview pane in Windows. 11 and Windows 10 To do so, you can follow the below steps:

  • At first, go to Windows File Explorer.
  • Click on View from the top menu bar.
  • Now on the top select Preview Pane if you are on Windows 10. For Windows 11, go to show and then select preview pane.Windows Preview Pane Mode File Explorer
  • Now a new pane will appear on the right side in the File Explorer. So whenever you select a file, it will show a preview in this pane.

How to preview photos and videos thumbnails in File Explorer?

There is also another method that lets you preview media files in File Explorer. For this, you have to enable thumbnail viewing and change the view mode to larger icons. Such as large icons or extra-large icons mode.

However, this feature is only limited to a specific folder or directory. This means, if you set it up for one folder, it will not show in another folder. So you have to make the settings for each folder in which you want to see a right-side preview.

To change the view mode of a folder in file explorer, you need to follow the below steps:

  • At first, go to a Folder.
  • Click on the View tab from the top menu.
  • Then select a view mode you want for previewing files.
  • The thumbnails files are viewable in only Extra large icons, large icons, and medium icons modeExtra Large Thumbnails Preview Pane
  • You can also drag, and increase the view size of the preview pane to get the best of both worlds.

Apart from these, the other modes will only display the icon of the app used to open the file type.

Also, the extra-large icons mode is the largest view mode. And you can only set for thumbnails in Windows File Explorer.

Related: How to view File Size in Windows File Explorer.

File Explorer shows app icons instead of thumbnails for images and videos

In certain cases, File explorer may end up showing app icons instead of thumbnails for images and videos.

However, fixing this issue is not as complicated as it might seem. And here are all the steps that you have to follow:

  • From File Explorer, click on the triple dotted icon on the menu bar.
  • Select options.
  • Then from the Folder Options Window, click on the view tab. Under the advanced settings, uncheck the checkbox for the Always show icons, never thumbnails option.
  • Finally, click on Apply, then OK to save the changes.

How To Fix Preview Pane Missing in File Explorer?

If the preview pane is missing in File explorer, then it is probably disabled on your computer. To enable it, go to File Explorer > View > Select Folder/File options > Switch to View tab > Place a check next to Show preview handlers in the preview pane.

So that was all for how to preview files, images, and videos in File Explorer on Windows 10/11. Now go ahead and try the steps out and see if they are of any use to you or not. Also, for any other questions, do comment below.

Nayan Roy
Nayan is a crypto and gadget enthusiast who likes to cover topics related to Tech, Startups, Crypto, Gaming, Windows, and other interesting areas. But when he is not working, you can find him playing games or watch random videos on YouTube.


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