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Enable or Disable Thumbnail Preview in Windows Explorer for PDF files


By default PDF thumbnail preview on windows explorer is not active. But you can activate thumbnails preview in windows explorer by editing registry entry. I tested this tips on Windows XP only. I don’t know this tips work on windows Vista/ Windows 7 or not. After this feature enable on your computer, you can view the PDF file like view Image on your windows Explorer.

For comparison between thumbnail preview activate or not on windows explorer you view the following picture:


How to activate thumbnail preview for PDF files. Its simple you can follow these steps:

Methode 1

  • Open registry editor and navigate to this regestry key: “HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT | AcroExch.Document.7 | Shellex”
  • Create new regestry key named “{BB2E617C-0920-11d1-9A0B-00C04FC2D6C1}”
  • Double click default string in right pane, modifi the regestry value and replace the value with “ {F9DB5320-233E-11D1-9F84-707F02C10627}”.

Methode 2

  • Open notepad
  • Write this entry in the notepad:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



  • Click file save as, in the save as type set to all files.
  • In the file names type, write the file name with reg extention (e.g “pdfpreview.reg”, “pdfthumnaild.reg or etc) then save the file.
  • Double click the file to activate pdf thumnails.


  • You may need restart to take effect this regestry key.
  • To disable this feature delete the key named “{BB2E617C-0920-11d1-9A0B-00C04FC2D6C1}”
Posted by Fz 6 Responses

6 Responses to “Enable or Disable Thumbnail Preview in Windows Explorer for PDF files”

  1. Mrti says:

    Thanks for the tutorial, but unfortunately it doesn’t work for my Windows 7 32 Bit. Could u please re-post for Windows 7 Version?

  2. Fz says:

    @Mrti, Sorri I can not try this tutorial on windows 7 because I do not have windows 7 (genuine) on my computer. I only have windows vista and XP.

  3. Jesse says:

    My windows xp registry had the entry already in it as you describe, but thumbnail view only shows pdf icon. any thoughts why it doesn’t preview?

  4. Fz says:

    @Jesse, this entry only for PDF files. for other files you can set on windows explorer by clicking “View-Thumbnails”

  5. Sebastian says:

    I tested this on XP Professional x64 without succes. I still search for the trick to get it to work.

    Can you explain what the Key {BB2E617C-0920-11d1-9A0B-00C04FC2D6C1} is for? And is the {F9DB5320-233E-11D1-9F84-707F02C10627} value the PDF Application? Where can I find infos what the keys do? Maybe I need to adapt them to my configuration.

    Thanks in advance.

  6. lkawkaw says:

    Hi everybody,
    Perfect, This is a great thing i have learnt over here, it’s been a long time looking for such a trick, thanks a lot to the publisher, i tested it on my pc on windows xp, it worked at first try. I can not believe why such an important thing not acivated by default, anyway it is working good especially after enlarging thumbnails using free tool Tweak UI


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