How to Customize Thumbnail Preview Border for Images and Videos in Windows Explorer?

In Windows Explorer, if you set "Thumbnail" view for a folder containing images or videos, it shows the thumbnails having a nice looking border with shadow effect.

In this tutorial, we'll tell you about a small registry trick which helps you in customizing these thumbnails border. You can remove the drop-shadow effect or add different effects to the thumbnails.


So without wasting time lets start the tutorial:

1. Type regedit in RUN or Start Menu search box and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.

2. Now go to following keys:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\image (to customize border for images)
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\video (to customize border for videos)

3. In right-side pane, look for a DWORD value "Treatment". It would be set to 2 for images and 3 for videos by default. Double-click on it and set its value to any of following:

0 - To remove the border (Makes thumbnail preview a little bit faster)
1 - To add drop-shadow effect
2 - To add photo-shadow effect
3 - To add video reel like effect


4. Close Registry Editor and log off and login again. You can also restart Explorer as given here.

5. That's it. Now you can have different thumbnail preview borders in Explorer as shown in following screenshot:


PS. If you want a ready-made registry script to do the task automatically, download following ZIP file, extract it and run the desired REG file:

Download Registry Script

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Posted in: Windows 7, Windows 8 / 8.1, Windows Vista

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  • Do you know how to do the same in Windows 8? It worked great in Windows 7 but Windows 8 is not accepting new treatment number

  • I can confirm this works for Windows 8 x64. Just tried it and the ugly drop shadows are gone!

  • Hi, I have Windows 7 and have tried this fix. The problem is that under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT I don't see any key that reads "SystemFileAssociations" or anything close to that. Is it possible that the relevant key has a different name?

  • VG

    ^^ Its not possible that the key is not present in any system. Open regedit, press Ctrl+F keys together and paste SystemFileAssociations in text box and press Enter. It'll automatically let you go to the key.

  • Is this doable in Windows 10 for folders? What I'm trying to achieve is in the extra large thumbnail view if a folder has images inside it I see a preview thumbnail and a partly open folder around that preview thumbnail. I want to remove the partly open folder so that it only shows me the preview thumbnail for folders that contain image files.

    I haven't found anything as far as guides for doing this after a little over an hour of googling.

  • VG

    ^^ I think you'll need to edit the DLL file containing that partial folder icon. It might be shell32.dll or imageres.dll.

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