Enable Thumbnails For PSD Files

by on May 17, 2008
in Design, Tips and Tricks, Windows

Recently, I really got frustrated when I needed a quick preview of a PSD file, and the folder where it was saved was full of PSD files. I needed the file urgently. Then, I ended up opening each file manually to see what it was. Later, after I got through my work. I Googled some ways to overcome this problem in the future.

Adobe Bridge is good, and can be used to view what’s in the PSD file, but it eats half of my RAM, so I usually ignore it. After Googling for about an hour, I was finally able to have thumbnails instead of those blue feathers.

How To Enable Thumbnails For PSD Files

If you think this is going to be a long procedure, then you are wrong. It won’t even take 5 minutes to set up your PSD files to show the preview thumbnails. Simple follow the steps below.

First, make a quick backup of your system using System Restore. And backup your registry too!

1. Download psicon.dll from here (it’s a zip file)

2. Unzip it anywhere in your PC (You should have 3 files. psicon.dll, psicon.dll.reg and read me.txt)

3. Copy the psicon.dll to the following path:

C:Program FilesCommon FilesAdobeShell

Remember, you might need to create the Shell folder, in Adobe directory.

4. After copying, execute the psicon.dll.reg file.

5. Click OK, for the info window that pops up to tell us that the registry key has been copied.

Done. See, no more than 5 minutes! ;)

Go to any folder containing PSD files, and choose Thumbnails from the View menu. You should now be able to view the thumbnails for PSD files, just as you see thumbnails of images.

I hope you enjoyed this trick and it has been helpful to you. I’d love to see you again on my blog.

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  • Woohooo…!!!! Awesome Trick…

  • Nice idea. I had that problem a while back until I found out what Adobe Bridge was for. Yeah, you have to open a program, but it provides thumbnails of all your Adobe files.

  • That was a great tip; it was quick, simple and easy to follow – thanks!

  • I can see the preview in my computer without this.

  • @Madhur:
    What Photoshop are you using? I have tried this trick in Photoshop CS and CS2 only.

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  • Heather


  • I had this automatic with 7.0, but then I re-installed it and it disappeared – thanks for the file!

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  • Chad

    Didn’t work for me. Running CS2 on Vista. Anyone else get it to work on Vista?

  • Chad

    ^^ Update ^^
    Thumbnails appeared after reboot. Works great! Thanks!

  • Rukmal

    Its working

  • Kisha

    Worked Great! Thanks!

  • Rakesh Bhardwaj

    Well it work even if you don’t have photoshop installed.
    You can find the same solution for Illustrator also from the link below

  • Wow, thats wonderful, now i need similar trick for .ai and .eps file, as its hard to open them in bridge

  • THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. My thumbnail images all disappeared after I installed an old version of Photoshop and were just displaying the programme icon. I have spent hours trying to all sorts of supposed solution but yours is the only one that has worked – and so quick and easy too. Most grateful.

  • John Geyer

    In 20 articles everyone says run the reg file but no one tells how to run the reg file. If I click on it even microsoft has no program to run the reg file.

  • shyam

    Thanks annaa…..

  • Thanks. I’ve been thinking about something like this for a while. Very simple to do!

  • Breanna

    Thank you so much!

  • Taylant


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  • Gerardo


    I was try to do exactly what you explain, but dont work.
    This dll work with PS CS4?

    Thanks! ( sorry my poor english )


  • caja

    I did exactly what you said but I still can't see the preview :/

  • thanks for the tricks, I share it.
    Yes it work with CS4 on win xp.

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  • dixit

    i have photoshop cs3 and this thing worked with me too thanks dude

  • dibyendu bhowmick

    How To Enable Thumbnails For PSD Files, this tips for which I was waiting for long days. Thank to help me and pray to god for your growing popularity (this blog)

  • Sotrac2

    Thanks so much.. I'd kiss you if you are a beautiful girl.
    Thanks again.

  • LOL! I'm a boy! :P And you're welcome! :)

  • thanks buddy nice one .. its works..

  • Winyumaung

    thanks… it work any version?

  • Debbieodom

    Worked like a charm – thank you!!!!!

  • Moby022

    My pc doesn't know what program to open the .dll file. What do I tell it?

  • Wow! That was really easy and soooo helpful! Thanks!

  • Woods Davin1

    That helped!!

    Thanks a lot :)

  • Dev

    Do not use psicon.dll. It has a known bug and causes heap corruption. It means that program will start to randomly crash if they use this dll.

  • Aprove

  • Networkgm

    It works, thanx!

  • SilverRey

    Thank you! Works great. I was getting frustrated w/o thumbnails!!!!
    (CS5 on XP)

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  • Fawzar

    its working.. thnks

  • Wolf

    Doesn't seem to work for CS5/Win7…bummer

  • thx it’s worked.
    PS CS5
    win XP

  • Fatal Pipe

    Works great,but I had to create Shell folder on PSCS4/W7Ultimatex86.
    Thanks a lot!!

  • saif Nauman

    wow gr8 work really appreciate it……………………………………

  • Christina R.

    At first it didn’t work, but then I read the ReadMe and it said I had to “Run” the Reg. file, and now POOF! Thumbnails are back! :D thanks so much! It was bugging me!

  • Jackce57

    I followed your instructions to the letter, but no good. I even rebooted thinking that might help, but it doesn’t work. I am running Windows 7 sp1 with Photoshop CS5 ver. 12.1 x64.
    I created the SHELL folder in C:Program FilesCommon FilesAdobe and put the psicon.dll there and I merged the psicon.dll registry entries too, but I still have the blue PSD icons instead of thumbnails. Can you figure out what might be wrong, it seems to have worked for everybody else?

  • V.S.Ramesh

    Super, I solve my Problem Thanking You so much.