Top 5 Fixes for Thumbnail Previews Disappearing Quickly From Taskbar on Windows 11

On Windows 11, the Taskbar’s thumbnail feature gives you a small preview window when you hover over a running program’s Taskbar icon. So, you may see the program’s current state without maximizing the application. However, some users complain about thumbnail previews disappearing quickly from the Taskbar on Windows 11.


You may run into this problem if your computer runs low on resources, you have a corrupt profile, or system files are corrupt. However, we show you how to solve all those issues in this guide.

1. Recreate the Thumbnail Cache

The thumbnail cache consists of all images Windows uses to display folder and file previews. When the cache becomes to be, or is corrupt, it may cause the Taskbar thumbnail preview to disappear quickly. Recreating the thumbnail cache will empty it and resolve the problem.

Step 1: Click the Windows magnifying lens on the Taskbar, type clean, and select the Disk Cleanup app.

Opening Disk cleanup

Step 2: Select your drive and hit OK.

Cleaning drive C

Step 3: Under ‘Files to delete’ section, uncheck every option except for Thumbnail, then click OK.

Delete thumbnail

2. Run the System File Checker Scan

System file corruption leads to abnormal behavior on your computer and may be a reason why the Taskbar thumbnail preview is disappearing quickly. Windows 11 has a built-in utility that scans for corrupt, bad, or missing system files and replaces or fixes them. Here is how you run a file scan with the System File Checker utility.

Step 1: Press Windows + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run dialog.

Step 2: Type cmd and press Control + Shift + Enter keyboard shortcut to open a Command Prompt with administrator privileges.

Opening the command prompt 1

Step 3: Input the script below and hit Enter:

sfc /scannow
Running the scannow utility

Step 4: Restart your computer. Check if the Taskbar thumbnail previews still disappear quickly.

3. Reinstall the Shellexperiencehost App Package

On a Windows 11 computer, the Shellexperiencehost App Package controls the Taskbar, Start menu, as other user interface elements. So, when the app package is missing or corrupted, you will notice some irregularities among the elements it controls. Sometimes, this will manifest as irregular display times for the Thumbnail preview function. Your best bet will be to reinstall it.

Step 1: Click Windows Search (magnifying lens) icon on the the Taskbar, type powershell, and click PowerShell’s ‘Run as Administrator’ option.

Opening the PowerShell

Step 2: Type the script below and hit Enter to reinstall the Shellexperiencehost app package.

Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.Windows.ShellExperienceHost | foreach {Add-AppxPackage -register "$($_.InstallLocation)\appxmanifest.xml" -DisableDevelopmentMode}
shellexperience host reinstalling

Step 3: Reboot the computer after the command completely executes.

4. Update the Hover Delay Time

There are chances that the delay time is set to be too short; hence, it will keep disappearing quickly. Windows comes with a Registry editor that can be used to configure some vital computer settings and behavior. Use the steps below to increase the hover delay time of the Taskbar thumbnail preview, but first, create a backup of your registry in case you need to revert your configuration.

Step 1: Press Windows + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run dialog.

Step 2: Type regedit and press Enter to open the Registry Editor.

opening the registgry editor

Step 3: Navigate to the path below:

Registry Editor path

Step 4: Double-click the ThumbnailLivePreviewHoverTime value on the right pane, increase the Value data entry, change Base to Decimal, and click OK. The entries are in milliseconds, so you may try 1000 or 1200. If the ThumbnailLivePreviewHoverTime does not exist, continue to step 5.

ThumbnailLivePreviewHoverTime dword value

Step 5: Right-click any blank space on the right pane, select New, then ‘DWORD (32-bit) value’. Name the new value ThumbnailLivePreviewHoverTime, and give it a value of 1000 or 1200, as explained in step 4.

Creating new registry value

5. Create a New User Profile

Creating a new user profile creates fresh copies of your Taskbar settings, including a new thumbnail cache. This means that if the old cache or specific related settings are corrupted, they will be replaced, and it will resolve the thumbnail preview problem. Here is how to create a new user profile.

Step 1: Press Windows + I keyboard shortcut to open the Settings app.

Step 2: Click Accounts in the left sidebar, then Other users on the right pane.

Account creation

Step 3: Click the Add account button.

Add account

Step 4: Click ‘I don’t have this person’s sign-in information.’

Change sign in information

Step 5: Click the ‘Add a user without a Microsoft account’ option.

Add user without microsoft account

Step 6: Input your details and click Next.

Account creation details

Step 7: Expand the newly created user and click ‘Change account type.’

Changing account type

Step 8: Select Administrator from the Account type drop-down, then click OK.

Edit account type

Step 9: Sign out and log into the newly created account and verify the problem of the thumbnail previews quickly disappearing is fixed.

Enjoying the Complete Windows 11 UI Experience Again

Sometimes, this problem means you can’t select or view previews, which dampens the user experience. However, if you follow the solutions in this guide, your thumbnails will work perfectly again. That is as much as we share in this guide.

Last updated on 22 September, 2023

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