How to stop Windows 10 from deleting Thumbnail cache?

April 19, 2019 |

greater than 4 minutes

“Clearing clutter—be it physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual—brings about ease and inspires a sense of peace, calm, and tranquillity.”

― Laurie Buchanan, PhD

The importance of thumbnails always goes unnoticed until we have a pressing need for them. These miniature versions of our videos and pictures make our lives so much easier. They help us quickly sift through our media files to identify what we’re looking for without the stress of scrutinizing forgotten filenames.

If you’re a Windows 10 user and have hundreds to thousands of videos and images, then you must owe a lot to thumbnails. Folder views like List, Small Icons and Details may seem irrelevant to you, but the Thumbnail view is always gold. Yes, thumbnails can be quite the lifesavers – just a few scrolls in your folder and your eyes catch the media file you’re looking for!

But imagine having to wait for thumbnails to reload every single time. This can be quite infuriating. If you experience this, then you’re in the right place. Windows 10 seems to have this annoying routine of deleting the thumbnail cache, but not to worry: we know exactly how to fix this.

In this article, we’ll teach you everything you need to know on how to fix automatic deletion of the thumbnail cache on Windows 10.

What if Windows automatically deletes the thumbnail cache on a regular basis?

Usually, when you open a folder containing videos and pictures for the first time, Windows creates a thumbnail for every file in that folder. These thumbnails serve as covers (book covers, if you will) to help you identify each image and video with ease. They’re stored in a cache file to be able to load without the need for Windows to start creating them from scratch each time you open the folder.

So, every time the Windows thumbnail cache is deleted, you’ll have to wait for the OS to recreate the thumbnails whenever you open a folder with your images and videos. The wait can be tiring and frustrating, especially when you’re in haste. Also, depending on the number of videos and images you have, the process may take up significant computer resources, causing your system to slow down.

That is why you need to prevent Windows from carrying out automatic thumbnail cache deletions in the future.

Why is Windows 10 automatically deleting the thumbnail cache?

Windows 10 has been deleting the thumbnail cache after every reboot since the Fall Creator’s update. The update came with an Automatic Maintenance service known as SilentCleanup, which carries out these deletions. Sometimes, it doesn’t require a reboot to wipe out the thumbnails. The SilentCleanup task launches the Disk Cleanup utility to delete the thumbnail cache when Automatic Maintenance runs on your computer.

The thumbnail cache might be deleted regularly in order to create space on your hard disk and boost system performance. However, if you always use images and videos, regularly deleting your thumbnail cache will be counter-productive.

To save space on your hard drive and improve your computer’s performance, simply install Auslogics BoostSpeed. The tool conducts regular scans and wipes out junk files that are occupying space on your hard disk. This will give your computer ample space to run smoothly.

How to fix automatic deletion of the thumbnail cache on Windows 10

To give you a complete guide on how to prevent Windows 10 from deleting the thumbnail cache, we’ll show you three different methods. They include:

  1. Preventing Disk Cleanup from deleting the thumbnail cache
  2. Disabling the Automatic Maintenance service
  3. Using the Registry Editor

Prevent Disk Cleanup from removing the thumbnail cache

  1. Open This PC and right-click Local Disk (C:).
  2. Select Properties.
  3. Under the General tab in the Properties window, click Disk Cleanup.
  4. Wait for your PC to calculate the amount of data to clean up.
  5. When the Disk Cleanup window appears, uncheck the Thumbnails option from the Files to Delete list and then click Ok.
  6. Your computer will now delete unnecessary files except the thumbnail cache. The thumbnail cache will also be spared during future cleanups.

Disable the SilentCleanup Automatic Maintenance service in Task Scheduler

  1. Right-click the Start button and select Run.
  2. Type taskschd.msc in the Run text box.
  3. On the left pane of the Task Scheduler window, go to the following location:

Task Scheduler –>> Task Scheduler Library –>> Microsoft –>> Windows ->> DiskCleanup

  1. Now, right-click the SilentCleanup task on the right pane and select Disable.
  2. Close the program and restart your PC.

Use the Registry Editor to fix automatic thumbnail deletion

This method involves applying a hack to the Windows registry. Please make sure to follow our guidelines cautiously and precisely as the Windows registry is quite sensitive.

  1. Press Win+R and type regedit in the Run text box.
  2. Navigate to the following key on the left pane of the Registry Editor:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches\Thumbnail Cache

  1. Once you get to the Thumbnail Cache key, you’ll see a DWORD named Autorun in the right-pane.
  2. Double-click the Autorun DWORD and change its value (under Value Data) from 1 to 0.

If you use a 32-bit Windows 10, then this is your last stop. If you’re running a 64-bit version, however, please continue with the steps below:

  1. Still in the Registry Editor, navigate to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches\Thumbnail Cache

  1. Change the value of Autorun to 0.
  2. Close Registry editor and reboot your PC.

Note: If you don’t see the Autorun DWORD in both keys, simply right-click the right pane, place your mouse pointer over New and select DWORD (32-bit) Value. Rename the newly created DWORD to Autorun and set its value to 0.

Now you’re done. Windows 10 won’t be able to delete the thumbnail cache automatically again. If for any reason, you want to re-enable automatic deletes, you can always go back to your Local Disk Properties and check the Thumbnails option in Disk Cleanup; go to Task Scheduler, locate SilentCleanup and enable it; or locate both Autorun DWORDs in Registry Editor and set their values to 1.

Reminder: Installing Auslogics BoostSpeed will ensure your system runs as new by providing ample space on your local drive and deleting faulty registry keys.

Do you think automatic thumbnail cleanups are necessary?

Share your views with us in the comments section below!

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