If you are not familiar with the Windows File Manager, it is the built-in file browser for Windows. You can explore your files, folders, libraries or other locations by dragging them to the Windows File Explorer. The File Explorer also allows you to preview files, images and videos using various file viewer apps.

Windows 11’s File Explorer is one of the most powerful tools in Windows for browsing your files, files that are on your computer or on external storage. However, this tool does not automatically preview any of the files on your computer, not even the most recently added ones.

Microsoft recently updated File Explorer to version 10. The new version offers some new features, but the most important of these is the ability to preview files, images and videos in File Explorer. You can do this by dragging and dropping the file onto the preview pane at the bottom of the window.. Read more about how to preview a file without opening it windows 10 and let us know what you think.

You may activate the preview pane in Windows 11, which will show as a column on the right side of File Explorer. A preview of the presently chosen picture, video, text file, PDF file, word document, or other supported file type may be seen in the preview window. This little guide will teach you how to activate the preview window in Windows 11 File Explorer.

The preview pane is a resizable column that enables users to preview media at a much bigger scale than the thumbnail preview, which has a set size depending on which display mode is chosen.

Here are a few pictures of how the preview window in File Explorer on Windows 11 appears while previewing photos, videos, and text files.

How to preview photos images in Windows 11 File Explorer

How to preview videos in File Explorer Windows 11

How to preview file in folder Windows 11 File Explorer

Note that a video preview in this format will only display a still picture chosen at random from the beginning of the movie. The video does not play in the preview window.

On Windows 11, how can I preview files and media in a folder?

You must first activate the preview pane in Windows 11 File Explorer to preview files, pictures, movies, and other supported file types right in the folder without having to open them. To do so, follow the instructions below.

  1. Open File Explorer on Windows 11.
  2. Select View from the menu bar.
  3. Then, with your mouse hovered over the Show option, choose it.
  4. Then choose Preview pane from the drop-down menu.How to enable preview pane in Windows 11

In the File Explorer window, a new pane will emerge on the right side. A preview of a file in the current folder will appear in the preview pane when you choose it. Now try selecting/highlighting any file in any folder; if the file type is supported, a preview of the chosen item will appear in the preview window.

How to see thumbnails of pictures and videos in File Explorer

Another way to preview media files in file explorer is to enable thumbnail viewing and switch to a bigger icon display mode, such as “Large icons” or “Extra large icons.”

Each folder/display directory’s mode is stored individually. This implies that changing the view mode of folder A will have no effect on the view mode of folder B.

To change the view mode of a folder in File Explorer, go to the folder, click View in the menu bar, and then choose the desired view mode.

How to change view mode for larger thumbnail size in Windows 11 File Explorer

Only the “Extra Large icons,” “Large icons,” and “Medium icons” modes allow you to see file thumbnails. The icon of the app that was used to open the file type will only be shown in other view modes. The extra big icons option in Windows 11 File Explorer is the largest display setting for thumbnails.

Instead of thumbnails, File Explorer displays app icons for pictures and videos.

Here’s what you should do if you see app icons instead of real thumbnails of image or video files, such as all picture files showing the Photos app icon (the default app to view the image file) instead of the actual photos as thumbnails.

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

Click the triple dotted symbol on the menu bar in File Explorer, then Options.

View Options File Explorer Windows 11

Click the View tab in the Folder Options box. Uncheck the “Always display icons, never thumbnails” option under Advanced settings. To save the changes, click Apply, then OK.

Disable Always show icons never thumbnails Windows 11

The media file thumbnails should now display the proper pictures.

Preview photos and videos thumbnails in File Explorer Windows 11

If video files still don’t show thumbnails and instead show the video player’s app icon, it’s probable that the video file type doesn’t allow thumbnail display in File Explorer. Installing video codec packs to provide support for showing thumbnails of different video file formats may be required to resolve this. Codecguide.com’s K-lite Codec Pack comes highly recommended.

Is it possible to preview files in a folder without opening them? Here’s how to use File Explorer in Windows 11 to examine pictures, movies, and other file formats.

File Explorer is a great application for managing your files, photos and videos on your computer, but it can be difficult to preview images, MP3s and other types of files in this application. This is because File Explorer doesn’t support previewing of some file types.. Read more about how to preview files in windows 10 and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I preview images in File Explorer?

To preview images in File Explorer, you can use the Open button on the toolbar.

Why cant I preview files in File Explorer?

You cannot preview files in File Explorer because it is not a supported feature.

How do I enable image preview in a folder?

To enable image preview in a folder, you will need to do the following: 1. Navigate to your Library and select Preferences 2. Select Image Preview 3. Check the box next to Enable Image Preview 4. Click Ok

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • how to preview files in windows 10
  • how to preview files in windows 7
  • how to preview a file without opening it windows 10
  • file preview
  • file previewer
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