Xentient Thumbnails


Xentient Thumbnails changes the default icons for image files in Windows explorer and replaces them with thumbnails of the images themselves.

It works automatically on all image files within the Windows environment without user intervention.

Every Windows user knows that setting “thumbnails” in the folder view options results in a thumbnail view of the pictures within it.

Xentient Thumbnails goes a step further by replacing all image icons on-the-fly with thumbnails that are visible in all folder views (icons, tiles, list and details views, and even images placed on the Desktop). Here are more notes on this program:

  • How it works: once installed/activated, this program starts generating thumbnails on the fly for all folders that you open. (Conversely a folder containing images that is never opened will not get its icons converted to thumbnails).
  • Controls: interaction with the program is through a “Xentient Thumbnails” entry it adds to the Windows’ Control Panel. The only three options there are (a) switching the “generate thumbnails” function on/off, (b) increasing/decreasing the cache size for thumbnails, or (c) clearing the cache of all thumbnails.
  • Image types: affects an impressive range of image types (JPG, JPE, JPEG, JP2, J2K, GIF, PNG, BMP, WBMP, EMF, WMF, PCX, PBM, PGM, PNM, PPM, RAS, TIF, TIFF, and TGA).
  • Thumbnail location: is in the application data. The image files themselves do not store the thumbnail information (i.e. an image placed on a network drive will not show a thumbnail icon when seen from another computer). Uninstalling the app means that thumbnails will no longer be displayed as icons for image files.

The verdict: I really like this program (I especially like seeing thumbnail icons for images placed on the desktop). I noticed that for some thumbnails where the images are narrow or long Xentient Thumbnails uses a detail of the image for the thumbnail rather than whole image, but that is understandable and works rather well. Recommended.

Version tested: 1.0.2

Compatibility: Windows 98/SE/ME/2K or XP; high color or true color display.

The program page no longer exists, but you can download ver. 1.0.2 of the program here or here.

Previous articleDesktopCoral
Next articleDizzler Desktop Media Player
Has been reviewing software since 2006 when he started Freewaregenius.com
  • Streaker

    Vista isn’t listed as a compatible OS. Is there anything comparable for Vista users?

  • This really looks good I will download it and give it a try.
    Many thanks and keep up the good work.

  • kat

    I love this. Thanks!

  • pete

    probably me being dimwitted but I couldnt seem to get this do anything and the help section was mainly blank .never mind cracking site all the same

  • What’s the performance hit on this?
    Not to sound like a downer as I would *really* like to try this, but how does it handle folders with 100, 500, 1000, 2000 pictures in it? Does Window’s performance take a noticible hit?

  • All of my thumb nails are showing pictures of the pictures… but I’m using Vista. Can’t recall if XP shows the same? Must not or there’d be no use for such a program.

    Nice blog by the way.

  • AWESOME app I Love it!.
    I will tell my friends where to come find it “Freeware Genius “

  • Great looking program, i wish it worked on Vista, hopefully it will be soon.

  • zippodemos

    Not much use for this program if you use Windows Explorer since it already supports thumbnails, this app however might be quite useful for file managers that don’t support thumbnail previewing.

  • DS

    By far the best program i´ve seen this year hehehe…thanks.

  • Joe

    @A Blog About Nothing and @zippodemos:

    Samer mentioned the “thumbnail view” built into just about every file manager. This program changes the icons to (much smaller) thumbnails, so you can see thumbnails in every view type in Windows Explorer, and see more thumbnails at once.

  • eltranced

    love this!

  • Axe

    Btw to get more thumbnail support for more file types (Windows all) e.g. images, multimedia even text and document files viewers etc you can check this out: http://www.winmatrix.com/forums/index.php?/topic/19751-get-thumbnails-of-more-file-types-text-document-and-3rd-party-file/