Photoshop/Photoshop Elements: Why are there no thumbnails for PSD files in Windows Explorer?

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  • Updated 4 months ago
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I upgraded to Adobe Photoshop Elements 9. Now, all the thumbnails for my .PDF files are gone! Thumbnails for my .JPEG, .JPG, and .TIFF display as usual, but the only thing that shows for each of my .PDF files is the picture title and a PDF icon. This is totally unacceptable. Please tell me how to display the thumbnails for my .PDF files.
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Joanne Taylor

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Posted 5 years ago

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Brett N, Official Rep

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Official Response
Windows has never supported thumbnail generation for PSD files.

A long time ago, old versions of Photoshop would install a file into Windows that would allow the system to generate PSD thumbnails. However, this caused other problems on the system. So we stopped releasing the software with this feature. Instead, we started releasing Photoshop with Bridge, which is a file navigation application similar to Windows Explorer, except it generates thumbnails for all files supported by Adobe products (even if you don't have that product installed. E.g., you would get thumbnails from Illustrator, .AI, files even if Illustrator is not installed).

I couldn't say why you had thumbnails in Windows Explorer for your PSD files previously, perhaps you had an old version of Photoshop installed at some point. Nor can I say why uninstalling Photoshop Elements 4 would take it away, as Windows PSD thumbnail generation was never a feature of Photoshop Elements. Now that the thumbnails are gone, you are seeing the normal expected behavior for Windows.

Instead, you should just use Organizer for perusing your image files. One of the reasons for using the Organizer is as a replacement for Windows Explorer as it provides thumbnails for all of your image files.

In the end, it is not up to Adobe to determine what file formats Windows Explorer will generate thumbnails for, that would be the responsibility of Microsoft.