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Thumbnail Database Viewer 2.2

Browse the Windows thumbnail cache and locate lost images. (Maybe.)

by Mike Williams

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License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit), Windows XP
Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 08 November 2011
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 6290
Developer: Igor Tolmachev
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Thumbnail Database Viewer 2.2
Browse the Windows thumbnail cache and locate lost images. (Maybe.)

Thumbnail Database Viewer is a portable tool which enables you to inspect Windows thumbnail caches, the files where Windows stores thumbnails of images in folders for speedy redisplay in Explorer.

If you're using Windows Vista or 7 then the program must be launched as an Administrator (right-click the executable, select Run as Administrator). After that, you can either browse to a folder containing a thumbnail cache, or choose a drive and click Search to have the program locate your caches automatically. Either way, double-clicking a cache file should show you the images it contains, if any.

What's the point? The value here comes in the fact that Windows won't necessarily clean the thumbnail cache at the same moment as any original images are removed. So if you delete a folder full of precious photos, and they can't be recovered, then there's at least a chance that the Thumbnail Database Viewer will be able to show you smaller versions.

And if you suspect that your kids, say, are looking at images which you believe are less than suitable, then again the program might be able to reveal all, even if they've deleted the original pictures.

Please note, the program seems more likely to be successful on Windows XP systems, as they kept separate thumbs.db files in each folders: Windows Vista and 7 have centralised thumbnail databases which appear to be cleared more quickly. Still, we did manage to recover some images from our test Windows 7 system, so you may want to give the program a try.


The Thumbnail Database Viewer is an interesting computer forensic tool, although it appears to be more useful on XP systems than modern PCs

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

WhatsApp Messenger 2.19.61

Free Full Commercial Software

WhatsApp Messenger is the world's most popular instant messaging app for smartphones.

You can use it to send and receive text and voice messages, photos, videos, even call your friends in other countries, and because it uses your phone's internet connection it might not cost you anything at all (depending on whether you'll pay data charges).

It's easy to set up and use. There's no need to create and remember new account names or pins because it works with your phone number, and uses your regular address book to find and connect you with friends who use WhatsApp already.

You can talk one-to-one or in group chats, and because you're always logged in there's no way to miss messages. Even if your phone is turned off, WhatsApp will save your messages and display them as soon as you're back online.

There's plenty more (location sharing, contact exchange, message broadcasting) and the app is free for a year, currently $0.99/ year afterwards.

What's New in Version 2.19.61 

• You can now see stickers in full size when you long press a notification.