Where is the information about start menu thumbnails saved


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Hello,

this is quite a specific question. Most programs have their
Screenshot (442.2).png
icon and the Windows accent color as a background of the start menu thumbnail. The programm icon on a pinned tile (in medium size) is small. However, certain programs like Microsoft Office and Firefox have different thumbnail colors and the icon on a pinned tile is much bigger.

I want to know, where the information is saved that determines, Firefox has a dark purple-blue thumbnail and a big icon?

Background: My goal is to change these information without additional software. I want to understand the mechanics behind it and approach the problem from this direction, answering the question above.

The thumbnail doesn't have anything to do with the firefox.exe file behind the link because even if the .exe is deleted, the thumbnail in the start menu persists. Even if a different .exe, f.e. notepad++.exe is renamed to firefox.exe and placed at the Firefox path, the thumbnail still shows Firefox, although clicking it is going to start Notepad++.
However, if the path of the link changes to anything else than firefox.exe, the thumbnail changes to the default thumbnail in standard color and with a small icon. Even if the new path of the link is still facing towards a copy of firefox.exe, just with a different name: firefox2.exe, the original thumbnail is gone.

So where is the information saved that defines the look of the start menu thumbnail of a program in Windows?

I'm not sure whether it's possible to answer that question, but I want to try.
Thanks for your help!
Iwin444
 
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Hi Iwin,

I had a nose around but cannot find anything relating to what you want in settings or anywhere else for that matter, apart from themes, there doesn't appear to be anything I can find to help you, sorry. :(
 
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They are al here, but you will need to unhide folders/files to see them. If you want to explore deeper, you will also need a program to open and view DB files.

C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer
 
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They are al here, but you will need to unhide folders/files to see them. If you want to explore deeper, you will also need a program to open and view DB files.

C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer

Thanks for the idea.

Opening the files
  • The files in the folder are called iconcache*.db and thumbcache*.db, so I've tried opening them with Microsoft Access and another program: Thumbs Viewer (https://thumbsviewer.github.io/), but it didn't work. It's probably necessary to find out more about the files in order to be able to open them correctly. I will try to experiment and look for some information.
Are these the correct files?
...\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer: iconcache*.db and thumbcache*.db
  • I'm thinking that cache is usually a temporary buffer that allows faster access to the saved data. So from this perspective, the cache couldn't be the true origin of the thumbnails. There had to be another place where the thumbnails really come from. Where is that? I'm I right in thinking so?
  • Also, from what I've read, these files store thumbnails from the thumbnail view in Windows Explorer. So the kind of thumbnails that do not only show a program icon but actually display the content of the file (f.e. pictures or documents). To memorize, I'm looking for the thumbnails of pinned tiles in the start menu. The ones that are shown in the screenshot at the top of the thread.
 
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" I'm thinking that cache is usually a temporary buffer that allows faster access to the saved data. So from this perspective, the cache couldn't be the true origin of the thumbnails. "
Agreed. That is exactly what they are. The path I indicated was merely an answer to your query. They are ONLY the system icons and are encrypted
Beyond that, you appear to have more knowledge than I on the subject , so perhaps another member maybe able to enlighten you more.
 
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This guide will guide you to reset the thumbnail cache in Windows 10:

Here is a sample text from this page.
Windows keeps a copy of all your folder, picture, video, and document thumbnails in a cache so they can be reused to quickly display when you open a folder instead of having to manually scan and slowly load them each time.

The thumbnail cache can sometimes become corrupted causing thumbnails to display incorrectly or distorted. When this happens, the thumbnail cache needs to be deleted to reset it and automatically recreate as needed.
 

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