View all Video files preview in thumbnails


You must have noticed that when thumbnail view is enabled in explorer, video files are shown as frames that shows the first frame of the video but unfortunately it is not enabled for every video format but there is a simple registry tweak that you can apply to make it working for other video formats too.

However this doesn’t work for *.vob extension video files (*.vob are video files copied directly from a video dvd).

Before you proceed I must tell you that playing with the registry can be hazardous for your OS (Operating System). Always consider backing up the registry before you make any changes in it. Read How to backup your windows registry

What are we going to do?

We are going to copy the settings how a video file is treated and then paste those settings for the file formats we want.

Steps for viewing all video files as preview in thumbnails:

  • Open Registry Editor (By typing regedit at the Run prompt)
  • Select HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT and find .avi (any of the mpg, mpeg will do)
  • Export its registry settings (will be saved as *.reg)
  • After saving right click on *.reg file and select Edit
  • Now if you want *.divx files to be treated in the same way as *.avi files then just replace avi by divx in the file and save it.
  • Execute this edited registry key. It will ask for confirmation for merging the data in the registry, approve it.

Repeat the above step for various files of whom you want to change the behavior. If you face any issues, do let me know and I will be glad to help you.


16 responses to “View all Video files preview in thumbnails”

  1. very good tips! ash.. pretty usefull

  2. Very useful trip buddy.

  3. @Nicholas, Madhur
    Thanks. Well there are lot of things that you can play with this and I will be posting about them soon.

  4. That’s interesting. Never heard of that before. Giving it a try…

  5. @Rakshit
    Go ahead and try. I am sure you will find it useful. ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. quick question, you know how you said that “when thumbnail view is enabled in explorer, video files are shown as frames that shows the first frame of the video” well how can I change that to a different frame? I can’t find any info on this. is there a program to do it or any other way, just because sometimes the first few frames are black which doesn’t help identifying the video.
    Thank you very much in advance!

  7. @Martin
    Yes that’s something I want to implement too. There is no way of doing it but I am pretty sure that it can be done. I will post the link here if I write something on it.

  8. to Martin. download and install Haai media splitter:
    mark “Enable explorer integration” and then in Options page change “Thumbnails Offset”

  9. @Pavel
    Thanks for sharing.

  10. MoltenTesseract Avatar

    haali only works for MKV.

    I’m trying to get it to work with others

  11. @Molten
    What is MKV?

  12. plz man can u mail me the sloution…
    the prob is the tweak works fine, but almost all the videos we have have got the firt frmae black – so the preveiw is also a black box. i mena dat doesnt help – can we choose the frame we want as the thumbnail prevwi or not?

  13. With XP I could see thumbnails for all video extensions,but now I have Vista and I can’t see my AVI thumbnails,and some of my WMV don’t preview either,which is odd since most of them do…I already installed all codec packs available out there but nothing seems to work.Can u help me?Thanks…

  14. Abraham Adiwidjaja Avatar
    Abraham Adiwidjaja

    View all Video files preview in thumbnails

    I have confusing problem that some of my .mpg files do generate thumbnail, but some do not.
    Funny thing that one folder do generate the tumbnail, but when I explore that folder, no thumbnail at all for all files..

    Please advise me, Thankyou very much

  15. hey man..ur blogs r too gud..i am a beginner in computers and ur article helped me a lot especially wen i was stuck with a write protected usb…keep up the gud