How To: View PSD Thumbnails In Windows After Installing Photoshop

Author: | Posted in Tutorials, Windows 30 Comments

Most of us know that Photoshop is an excellent software which comes with lots of options to edit each and every pixels of the image. Even lots of image editing softwares are available in the market but Photoshop still makes its position at the top of all the available applications. PSD is the layered file format recognized by the Photoshop. Windows doesn’t have the codecs for previewing the thumbnails of the PSD files in its explorer. Here is the tutorial which help you for photoshop users to enable thumbnail for your PSD files.

View psd thumbnails in Windows explorer

Adobe with its earlier version of Photoshop they provide the codecs along with the installer which makes the explorer to view the thumbnails of the PSD files. But after the version of CS2 Photoshop stopped the psicon.dll file which responsible for making preview of PSD thumbnails in the windows explorer. Due to some unfixable bugs, they removed it in their later versions. This created users to face problem in viewing the thumbnails of the PSD file on explorer. Adobe created the Adobe Bridge especially for explore and view the PSD files. Adobe Bridge is a stand alone additional application added along with the Photoshop by default. It fulfill the user requirement but it lacks flexibility.

Professional designer or a part time designer may not willing to open a additional application to view the PSD thumbnails due to some of the reason like memory consumption, comfort and interface they are working with. Most of the users like to view thumbnails in the explorer (Open Dialog Box of the Photoshop) itself  to view the pre-designed template or design.

Windows also fail to add the PSD codecs with it Operating System. User may face lots of difficulties without viewing the thumbnails of the PSD files in the explorer. Even it is not a big issue but it may really annoying at some point, I personally annoyed most.

You can fix this issue manually by editing the registry content or by installing some third party PSD codecs on your PC.

Manual Method to View the PSD thumbnails in Windows Explorer

Download the psicon.dll from here.

Copy it to the location C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\Shell

Note :  if “Shell” folder doesn’t exist create it manually

Download the PSD.reg from here. Run and merge it with the registry.

Restart your PC for the changes to take effect.

Want to try some other third party tools? Read on!

Third Party application which make the explore to show thumbnails of PSD files

Lots of freeware and paid versions are available in the market to make the windows explorer to show the thumbnails of the PSD files



A simple project by Google which make your explorer to show the thumbnails on your PSD files. You have to download and install this application to view the thumbnails of PSD files. It also support AI, PS, EPS file formats. Require Windows Xp Minimum. The only problem with Sagethumbs is preference setting which seems clumsy. Apart from that it’s an excellent project from Google.

Mystic Thumbs

Another application act like a plugin for windows to make the PSD thumbnails visible in the windows Explorer. Pro version of this plugin is also available with some of the extra features. Mystic Thumbs seems little bit slower in making the thumbnails of the large sized PSD files. Except that its working pretty good.

Pro / Paid Version

PSD Codec

I tried some of the pro PSD thumbnail viewers and finally admired with the PSD Codec as it is light weighted and easy to use and also compatible with the Windows 7 /8. Its really awesome and pretty fast in displaying the thumbnails of  PSD with large file size. Its very easy to download and install. Click here to download the PSD Codecs Software Trial Version


Apart from PSD files Fast picture viewer support EXR, TGA, DDS, HDR, Maya IFF, SGI RGB, JPEG 2000 and more, as well as RAW formats too.

Its also pretty good in making the preview of PSD file. Kindly let us know your valuable suggestion and doubts via comments.

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