How to View DNG Thumbnails in Windows

The flexibility and variety that DNG files provide for editing and processing is made possible by the fact that they contain valuable picture data that was acquired by digital cameras. However, if you use Windows File Explorer to go through your DNG files, you could discover that the thumbnails are not displayed.

This makes it difficult to single out particular pictures from the large collection. You are in luck since there are a few different routes you may follow to solve this problem.

Install Adobe DNG Codec

Installing the Adobe DNG Codec is one of the most straightforward methods available for enabling the viewing of DNG thumbnails on Windows. It will be much simpler for you to navigate through your picture collection if you make use of this codec, which enables Windows to produce thumbnails for DNG files.

Installing the Adobe DNG Codec is as simple as following these steps:

  • To get the Adobe DNG Codec, go to Adobe’s website and conduct a search for “Adobe DNG Codec.”
  • Find the download link that corresponds to the version of Windows that you are using.
  • You may get the installation file by going to the download link and saving it to your PC.
  • To begin the installation procedure, double-click on the file that was downloaded to your computer.
  • To finish the installation, follow the instructions that appear on the screen.
  • After the installation has been completed, you will need to restart your computer.

After completing these steps, Windows should be able to produce thumbnails for DNG files, making it possible for you to view these files from within the File Explorer window.

Use Third-Party Software

You can use third-party software to allow DNG thumbnail viewing on Windows if downloading the Adobe DNG Codec does not work for you or if you prefer other choices. If this is the case, you can also select for alternate solutions. There are a number of software options available to choose from that provide this feature. The following are some of the most common choices:

This small and lightweight picture reader, known as FastPictureViewer, offers compatibility for a broad variety of file types, including DNG. It gives you the ability to view thumbnails for DNG files within the Windows File Explorer application.

IrfanView is a well-liked image viewer that can be expanded with the help of add-ons called plugins. IrfanView is renowned for the versatility it offers. You may enable DNG thumbnail previews within Windows by installing the necessary plugin in the appropriate location.

XnView is yet another robust and feature-packed picture viewer; it is compatible with a wide variety of file formats, one of which is DNG. It provides a choice to display DNG thumbnails in Windows, which is convenient.

To utilize specific software solutions provided by a third party, please follow these general steps:

  • Go to the software’s official website and log in using your account there.
  • Download the file that will install the operating system on your computer.
  • To install the program, run the installation file and then follow the instructions that appear on the screen.
  • After the program has been installed, launch it, and make sure the parameters are adjusted such that you can view DNG thumbnails.
  • To guarantee that the changes take effect, you should restart your computer.
  • You can quickly examine DNG thumbnails without being constrained by Windows if you make use of third-party software to get beyond the limitations of Windows.

Convert DNG to Another Supported Format

Converting your DNG files to one of the other image formats supported by your operating system is an additional solution to consider if you are unable to enable thumbnail previews for DNG files using the techniques described above. You can assure that Windows will recognize your DNG files and produce thumbnails for them if you convert them to another format beforehand.

If you want to convert your DNG files, follow these steps:

  • Select a trustworthy piece of picture conversion software or an online converter that can handle DNG files.
  • You may either download the software to your computer or go to the website of the online converter.
  • Start the program, or go to the converter that’s available online.
  • Choose the DNG files that you wish to convert and then select the format that you want the converted images to be saved in (for example, JPEG or TIFF).
  • Please start the process of conversion, and then wait for it to be finished.
  • After the process of conversion has been completed, open Windows File Explorer, go to the converted files and check to see if the thumbnails have been shown.
  • If you convert your DNG files to a suitable format, Windows will be able to produce thumbnails for your photographs, making it much simpler to navigate through them and see them.


In conclusion, due to the absence of native support, viewing DNG thumbnails on Windows might be a difficult task. You may, however, get around this constraint by following the procedures explained in this article, which will allow you to see and handle your DNG files in an effortless manner.

The installation of the Adobe DNG Codec, the use of software from a third party, or the conversion of your DNG files to another compatible format are all options that provide a solution to ensure that thumbnail viewing is performed without interruption. Explore these choices and choose which one suits your needs and preferences the most so that you may improve your experience working with DNG files on Windows.


Q. Can I view DNG thumbnails without installing additional software?
A. Unfortunately, Windows does not natively support DNG thumbnail viewing. You will need to install additional software or use alternative methods to enable this feature.
Q. Is the Adobe DNG Codec compatible with all versions of Windows?
A. The Adobe DNG Codec is compatible with most versions of Windows, including Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10. However, it’s always recommended to check the system requirements before installation.
Q. Are there any free third-party software options available for viewing DNG thumbnails?
A. Yes, some third-party software options like FastPictureViewer, IrfanView, and XnView offer free versions that include DNG thumbnail viewing functionality.
Q. Do I need to convert all my DNG files to another format to view thumbnails?
A. No, converting DNG files to another format is an alternative option. You can choose to convert specific files or convert batches of files based on your requirements.
Q. Will enabling DNG thumbnail viewing impact the performance of my computer?
A. Enabling DNG thumbnail viewing should not significantly impact the performance of your computer. However, it’s always a good practice to ensure your system meets the recommended specifications for the software or converter you choose.

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