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May 13

Go away, Thumbs.db!

By default, Windows 7 RC creates Thumbs.db files on your network drives to store image thumbnails. Sometimes, in Windows Explorer, if you try to move a folder that contains images you get an error that says

"The action can't be completed because the folder or a file in it is open in another program. Close the folder or file and try again"

I took a look at the Resource Monitor (a wonderful tool in Windows Vista and even better in Windows 7) and discovered that the process stopping me was….wait for it…Windows Explorer! So, Windows Explorer can't move the folder because it has a file open, specifically, Thumbs.db!

So, to fix this I went into the local group policy editor (gpedit.msc) and enabled the following setting:

Turn off the caching of thumbnails in hidden thumbs.db files

Which is located in:

User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Explorer

Reboot.

SO FAR that fixed the problem for me. Windows Explorer hasn't generated any more Thumbs.db files and I haven't had any problems moving folders.

This should be enabled by default. Grrrrr.

1 comment

  1. Sandra Erb

    Thanks for sharing this solution. I have exactly the same problem with Windows 7 and a network share. Hopefully this works out.

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