Sometimes due to our carelessness, we might accidentally delete some important digital photos. That might be the only copy of your important and memorable photos such as your wedding or graduation photos, travel snapshots, naked photos of your boyfriend when he was three, etc. Is there any way to recover your digital photos or are there any recovery tools to rectify your carelessness and get back the deleted photos? There are various ways to recover your invaluable possessions. Amongst them, one of the recovery methods is via Thumbs.db file.

Thumbs.db file is a database file that stores a cache for Windows Explorer’s thumbnail view. Windows keeps thumbnails of miniature graphics files in the Thumbs.db file in each directory that contains pictures or photo in various formats such as PDF, GIF, JPEG, BMP, TIF and HTM. The thumbnail cache improves significantly the speed of displaying thumbnails as new thumbnails need not be created every time the folder is viewed; most importantly, this file can help you to recover your deleted photos.

Thumbs.db is a hidden file and you can only see it when you have enabled “show hidden files and folders”. Go to Windows Explorer, Tools -> Folder Options > View Tab and enable “Show hidden files and folders”. From the View Tab, you also need to make sure that you have turned on the thumbnail caching. Be sure that you don’t check the box next to “Do not cache thumbnails”. By doing the aforesaid, when you use Windows Explorer to view the contents of a folder in “Thumbnail” or “Filmstrip”, Thumbs.db file will be generated and you can use this Thumbs.db file to recover your deleted photos. This is because deleting images from a folder does not remove or erase the thumbnail from the Thumbs.db database cache.

To recover your deleted photos from Thumbs.db, you need to seek assistance from some Thumbnail database viewer programs. These programs will allow you to view thumbnail cache in Thumbs.db files. One of these programs is Thumbs.DB Viewer. Thumbs DB Viewer allows you to open Thumbs.db file and get back the photo or image from the database. Having done that, since Thumbs.db only keep miniature images, the quality of the images recovered from Thumbs.db tends to have lower resolution. You might need to use some photo editor tools to touch up your photo. Thumbs.DB Viewer Version 1.2 is available for free trial. Download Link.

Screenshot of THUMBS.DB VIEWER 1.2

The software allows displaying Thumbs.db database records as well as the miniature graphics generated. You can view images in full size or as the best fit for program’s window; rotate images right or left by 90 degrees; using a heuristic algorithm, the program can also search swap and hibernation files for a JPG graphic file.