How to Enable Video Thumbnails in your Windows Explorer

Windows Explorer, the default file browser of the Windows operating system, can display previews for select media files right in its interface. However this only works for select display modes, and select file formats.

While you may see preview thumbnails for wmv or mov files, you won’t see previews for other popular file formats such as flv or mkv.Thus it is difficult to determine what’s inside a video unless you play the clip in an associated media player.

There’s however a free utility called Media Preview that will replace these generic icons with image thumbnails generated using the first few frames of the video file.

Media Preview

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Enable Video Thumbnails in your Windows Explorer

First start Media Preview app and you will be presented with a settings window where you can configure the program behavior. Here it is for instance possible to assign the thumbnail generation for select file types over to the program, or have it handle all media file types automatically.

You can even add your own formats, and there is a good chance that they will be compatible with the program if they are used by media formats.

Media Preview - Configuration

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Among the file types are 3g, Flash Video, Matroska video, RealMedia, avi and divx, as well as Ogg video or MPEG related file extensions.

Once you have made your selection, you should click on the Testing tab in the configuration utility. Here you can clear the thumbnail cache, or test the new feature by dragging and dropping media files into the target window to have their current thumbnail replaced by the thumbnail generated by Media Preview.

Download Media Preview . It is available for Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

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