Previews don't work in Windows Explorer preview pane - Win 7 x86

When I hover over a file that is supposed to have a preview option in Windows Explorer, the preview pane in explorer is blank. If I hover over a file that doesn’t have a preview handler, it says “Preview not available”

However the preview of images does work. Office files and PDFs won’t display. I have checked all of the suggested folder options and they are set correctly. I have also found the preview handlers in the registry and they are all referenced there. I tried repairing Office and also did a sfc /scannow.

Is there something that I am missing?


Extraordinary Member
I have to "single click" image files or office documents to get them to show previews on my set up.

Windows 7 doesn't support showing of PDF files as thumbnails by default so I'm assuming it wouldn't show previews either.

I could stand correcting on this but as far as I'm aware, to even just get PDF thumbnails to show then a free 3rd party program by Pretentious name is still required. This works a treat, although it can sometimes be a bit slow to kick in. I'm still waiting for mine to kick in as I've only just installed it so cannot tell you at the moment if it supports the showing of previews or not.

EDIT!! Can now confirm that the Pretentious name program does allow pdf files to show in the preview pane!

Last edited:
Thanks for the quick response. I should have been more clear in my post. I have single click enabled on my desktop so just hovering selects the file. Also, all of the handlers were working including PDFs but for some reason just stopped. I have NitroPDF and it installed a handler which I have verified in the registry. I have checked back if there could have been something that I installed that could have messed it up but really didn't install anything. I also tried my oldest restore point but that didn't work either.

It seems like everything is all there but just doesn't work.

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