How to Fix the DNG Files Not Showing Thumbnails Issue?

Digital Negative, commonly known as DNG files, provide users with raw and lossless images that can be flexibly worked on without any quality loss. However, if you’re using the Windows operating system, you might encounter a folder full of DNG photos that fails to display any thumbnails. This issue arises when Windows isn’t able to build the thumbnail cache leading to default image icons being displayed or when you haven’t installed the Raw image extension. If you’re facing this issue, continue reading to find a solution.

Experiencing difficulty seeing thumbnails is uncommon, but the solutions outlined below may help you resolve the issue.

1. Installing Raw Image Extension

An inability to see thumbnails may be due to your Windows OS not supporting them. To address this, you can download the Raw Image Extension from the Microsoft Store. Ensure your Windows is updated to at least the 10 May 2019 (1903) update to install this extension.

  1. Click the Windows icon in the bottom left corner and type Microsoft Store.
  2. Open the Microsoft Store, then use the search bar at the top and look for the Raw Image Extension.
  3. Select the extension, ensuring it’s the official one from Microsoft Corporation.
  4. Hit the Download button to initiate the installation.
  5. After installation, the thumbnails should appear automatically.

Adjusting the Visual Effects Settings

A common procedure after a fresh installation of Windows is tweaking the settings for maximized performance, which can sometimes include disabling the display of thumbnails.

  1. Click the Windows icon on the bottom left and type Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows.
  2. A menu will appear with options for visual effects. Ensure you select the Show thumbnails instead of icons checkbox.
  3. Click Apply to save your changes.
  4. Open the folders containing the images.
  5. Navigate to the top of the folder, click the View tab, and choose Options.
  6. Switch from the General tab to the View tab.
  7. Uncheck the Display file icon on thumbnails option and then click Apply.
  8. Check the option again and click Apply to refresh the setting.

By following these instructions, you should be able to resolve any issues with displaying DNG file thumbnails in Windows.


Muhammad Zubyan

Muhammad Zubyan is a certified Google IT Support Professional with over 7 years of extensive experience. He has worked on more than 1500 computers, gaining valuable insights that enable him to detect and troubleshoot any complicated root cause of Windows-related issues and errors. In addition to managing Appuals as a Senior Editor, he is currently developing his own Game Optimization program that caters to both gamers and casual users alike.