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RegHack Fixes Unwanted Win10 Thumbnail Deletions

Behind the scenes, Windows runs all kinds of background tasks to keep things working smoothly — in theory, at least. However, users on report that thumbnails keep disappearing. Because thumbnails provide visual cues to the contents of photographs and images, users depend on them to identify and work with photos and graphics. Alas, deleting thumbnails means they must be rebuilt. No big deal for those with hundreds to thousands of images. But a big problem, for those with tens of thousands or more. In fact, users with large photo or image collections report that thumbnails get deleted before the thumbnail cache can be completely rebuilt. Unfortunately, this stymies their use completely, too. Luckily, a simple reghack fixes unwanted Win10 thumbnail deletions quickly and easily.

A RegHack Fixes Unwanted Win10 Thumbnail Deletions. How so?

As it happens, the Automatic Maintenance task is the culprit. Apparently, it includes instructions to empty the Thumbnail Cache each time it runs. Because that task runs daily by default, it’s clobbering thumbnail cache contents daily as well. You can check your settings at Control Panel → All Control Panel Items → Security and Maintenance →Automatic Maintenance. Alternatively, type “maint” into the Cortana search box and a link labeled “Change Automatic Maintenance Settings” should pop up automatically.

This screen cap shows the default settings for Automatic Maintenance.

Fortunately, you can disable thumbnail cache deletion with a single registry hack (aka RegHack). Details in the section that follows.

RegHack Revealed

Thanks to some excellent sleuthing work from TenForums user ylm, we now know that the “SilentCleanup” task is our culprit. It appears within Windows Task Scheduler as Microsoft → Windows → DiskCleanup. Here’s how to disable thumbnail deletion in this task:

1. Launch Regedit.exe
2. Browse to HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\
CurrentVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches\Thumbnail Cache
3. Set the Autoruns DWORD to 0 (zero)
4. Reboot the PC

Once enacted, this change stops Automatic Maintenance from deleting the thumbnail cache. Problem solved. For those with big photo or image collections, this can remove a major cause for irritation. Ditto for IT pros who manage PCs for people who work with photos or images on the job! If you fall into either category, this reghack is worth trying out.

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