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Fixing Missing PDF Thumbnails

I was dealing with this issue a little while ago, and found it is really difficult to get PDF files to generate their thumbnail in vista or windows 7.  The solution i found, which seems to work quite well, is actually quite simple.  First off, I was unable to get Acrobat Pro to generate thumbnails at all, if anyone has a solution for that let me know.  My solution was to first change the default program of PDF’s to Acrobat Reader (version 9 i think).  This should update the icons of your PDF’s (if they were previously opening with Acrobat Pro).  Now open Acrobat Reader (without a PDF file, just the program is all we need), and then go File -> Open…  Now update your view to Extra Large Icons and navigate to the folder that contains the PDF’s which you want to generate thumbnails for.  The open dialog will generate them for you as soon as they come into view, and as a bonus, the thumbnails stick with windows explorer.

Hope this helps out anyone else facing this issue.  Please leave comments if it didn’t work for you or if you have a better way.

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  1. Bob Z 11/12/11

    I’ve been struggling with this same problem. I have Reader 10.x. Went into Control Panel and found an icon for the previous version of Reader (9.1 or .4) Ran the uninstall again and all my .pdf thumbnails have returned.

    I don’t believe Adobe has removed this feature in its latest versions. I think the newer installs didn’t work properly. Try uninstalling whatever version you’re using and reinstall the latest version again.

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