Changing Image Thumbnail Settings on Windows XP

Windows XP makes it easy to browse through images stored in folders on your system by way of its “thumbnail” view option. When thumbnail view is selected for a folder (by clicking View > Thumbnails in My Computer), Windows XP displays images as miniature thumbnails rather than as traditional file icons, making it easier to differentiate between images.

While thumbnail view makes it easier for most users to sort their pictures, the default thumbnail image size (96 pixels) may be a little too small for some users. If you find yourself squinting at the screen to see thumbnail images, then you should consider increasing XP’s default thumbnail size.

The easiest way to make the switch to a larger size is by using Microsoft’s free Tweak UI PowerToy. After downloading and installing the program, open it and browse to Explorer > Thumbnails. Increase the Thumbnail size to a new larger value like 200 pixels and click OK. After doing this, all folders that you switch to thumbnail view will display thumbnails in this larger size. Note that increasing the thumbnail size results in higher memory and disk space usage.

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.