Even in our age of fast PCs, many people use removable or network drives which can be extremely slow to navigate, especially if we have to wait for each new file thumbnail to load in File Explorer. Fortunately, it’s easy to speed up file browsing by turning off thumbnails completely. Here’s how.

First, open the “Start” menu and type in “File Explorer Options”. Click on the first result.

(You can also open a File Explorer window and select View> Options from the menu bar.)

Open Start and type in File Explorer Options

In the File Explorer Options window that appears, click the “View” tab. In the “Advanced settings” area, check the “Always show icons, never thumbnails” box. Then click on “OK”.

If you want, open a folder filled with documents or images to test the new setting. You should only see standard icons for each file instead of thumbnails, which will most likely speed up your future file browsing experience.

If you change your mind and want to get the thumbnails back, you just need to review the File Explorer options and uncheck the “Always show icons, never thumbnails” box.