thumbs.db – what is it, it’s not virus
Thumbs.db files are database cache files created automatically by Windows whenever you have viewed a folder in thumbnail view and changed that to another view later on. This speeds up the display of images as the smaller images do not need to be recalculated every time the user views the folder.
Is there a risk with these
Thumbs.db has the cache of all images in folder, if you did delete images in that folder the thumbs.db file will still contain the thumbnails of the deleted images. So, anybody who has access to thumbs.db file can use an Extractor or viewer to view the deleted files.
How to view thumbs.db file
Thumbs.db is normally a hidden file, So, in Windows Explorer, click on Tools, and then Folder Options. Now click on the View tab and scroll down; Now uncheck ‘Hidden Files and Folders’ and ‘Hide extensions for known file types’ and ‘Hide protected operating system files’ and you should be able to view them.
The thumbnails are stored in a centralized location in Windows Vista with the name thumbcache_xxx.db where xxx is a number between 1 and 999. That folder is located at %sysroot%\Users\Owner\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer. Thumbs Extract is a command line utility to extract all images from thumbs.db files . syntax to use is ThumbsExtract.exe c:\thumbs.db
Thumbnails Database Folder is a small software to view the contents of a thumbs.db file by simply dragging and dropping those files into the thumbs.db viewer.
Thumbnail Database Cleaner enables you to clean up thumbnail cache which is used by Windows to speed up the display of thumbnails in folders (thumbs.db files).
Disable thumbs.db file creation
You can disable thumbs.db file creation in the Windows Explorer. Click on Tools > Folder Options, change to the View tab : Check ‘Do Not Cache Thumbnails’ option under Files and Folders. This will stop the generation of the thumbs.db files on your computer. Using this method and Cleaner above will ensure you don’t see thumbs.db again.