How-To Prevent Windows From Generating Those Stupid Thumbs.db Files

For reasons that only someone locked in some basement deep in the bowels of the Microsoft Empire would know, Windows keeps generating annoying Thumbs.db files that pollute the filesystem. Normally I wouldn’t mind having a few random hidden files but these things keep getting locked making it nearly impossible to rename, move or delete folders without rebooting every time. There is, however, a fairly simple solution.

  1. In the Start Menu search area, type “group policy”. 

  2. Click on Edit group policy to load the Local Group Policy Editor.
  3. In the Local Group Policy Editor, expand the User Configuration part of the tree in the left column. Then Administrative Templates, then Windows Components and finally Windows Explorer. Now in the right hand column, double click on Turn off the caching of thumbnails in hidden thumbs.db files

  4. In the dialog box that pops up, click on Enabled followed by Apply or OK to write the new setting to the registry. 

  5. Enjoy being able to rename, move and delete folders without having to reboot!