How to Enable Thumbnail Previews of SVG Files in Windows 10

Posted by Arch on September 6, 2019
How to enable thumbnail previews of svg files in windows 10 file explorer

If you have to work with SVG files in Windows, you are probably disappointed because Windows has no proper support for them. This is baffling due to the fact that SVG files have existed since the year 2001.

Even though default Windows image viewers such as Windows Photo Viewer can’t open these files, nor can Paint edit them, there is a solution. You can download the extension for the Windows File Explorer which will help you render SVG thumbnail previews on it.

This guide will show you how to do that and give you some more tips and advice.

What Are SVG Images?

SVG is short for Scalable Vector Graphics. In simpler terms, SVG is a vector image, and people who work as web designers, illustrators, graphic designers, or software engineers know them very well.

However, people who are unfamiliar with this file type might be confused. Vector images are based on code and they are a bunch of shapes, text, and dots, which are mathematical. You can move them around and resize them and they won’t lose their sharpness or image quality.

Other types of images are rasterized and consist of pixels and dots. These can be viewed and edited with Windows Photo Viewer and Paint. Unfortunately, these apps aren’t made to work with vector images.

There are many apps for creating and editing vector images, such as SVG-Edit, Vectr, Inkscape, and Fatpaint. If you only want to view an SVG thumbnail, you can do so using Windows 10 File Explorer, but you will need a dedicated extension for it.


SVG File Extension Setup in Windows 10

The extension you are about to download is a shell extension which works as a tool to assist the Windows File Explorer in rendering SVG thumbnails. You can search for the extension manually on the GitHub website, or use the links below.

Here is the link for 32-bit Windows 10 users, and the link for 64-bit Windows users. Don’t worry, we have tested these links and they work properly and are virus-free. The publisher of the extension is not a well-known tech giant, so Windows might warn you about downloading this content.

Follow these steps to install the SVG file extension:

  1. Once you download the appropriate file for your operating system version, click on the file to open it. Click on Run, followed by Yes.
  2. Click on Next to continue the process.
  3. Select “I accept the agreement” if you agree with the license agreement and continue with Next.
  4. Select the installation folder with Browse, or leave the default path and click on Next.
  5. Finally, you can click on Install and wait for the process to end. As a rule, it shouldn’t take long.

How to Use Your Windows 10 File Explorer to View and Organize SVG Files

Once you have the SVG file extension up and running, you can give it a spin. Open a folder where you have SVG files using the Windows File Explorer. Make sure the View is set to large or extra-large icons.

svg thumbnails

You should see the SVG file thumbnails on your screen. Within the thumbnail, there should be a smaller thumbnail denoting the application you are using to open the SVG extension files. Note that you can’t use this extension to edit SVG files on Windows 10.

For that, you would need the editing software mentioned earlier. Alternatively, you can view files with the SVG extension using the Internet Explorer, or other web browsers. If you don’t want this extension anymore, simply use your Control Panel and uninstall it.

Sneak Peek

Remember that this Windows 10 File Explorer extension for SVG files is only for viewing the thumbnails and sorting files. You can’t really do much more. There are dedicated programs that can help you edit such files.

Do you know of any other way to view SVG thumbnails on Windows 10? What software do you use to create and edit SVG files? Share your tips in the comments below.

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