[GUIDE] Stop Giant thumbnail files being saved on your sdcard by the Gallery


  1. Sepero

    Sepero Linux Guru Guide

    On Android 4 ICS (and possibly others), a giant thumbnail file may be created in your DCIM folder. This file can be several Gigabytes in size, depending on how many pictures you have. It is generated by the Android Gallery app.

    Here's a list of different ways to prevent or reduce the size of that giant thumbnail file.


    1. Quick and temporary solution- just delete any files/folders in your DCIM folder that start with .thumbnail
    2. Create a file named .nomedia in certain folders to prevent the gallery from scanning those folders. More info
    3. Delete the .thumbnail and replace is with an empty folder or empty file. More info
    4. A thumbnail deleter app developed by ppero196
    I personally use option #3. Works good for me.

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  2. Frisco

    Frisco =Luceat Lux Vestra= VIP Member

    Thanks for that, Sepero.

    Yeah, I'm sure I'm not the only .thumbnail delete around the Android community. ;) Thank you for providing the alternatives to doing that.
  3. Sepero

    Sepero Linux Guru Guide

    Thanks Frisco. If anyone else has other solutions, I'll add those to the OP.

    I figured this post would be a good start for our new Mods and Hacks forum. :D
  4. sammyz

    sammyz LG Whiz Kid Guide

    I think .thumbnails were made since froyo...maybe GB. I'll have to check with my Optimus M...
    footsindianink and Sepero like this.
  5. liberi

    liberi New Member

    How do you find this file? I have an app which sais I have the file but if I search in my files I don't see it. I can't delete it via the app because I can't place a empty file then. How to find it?
  6. Sepero

    Sepero Linux Guru Guide

  7. liberi

    liberi New Member

    But what happens if you delete the file without replacing it? Does that matter? Because via the app I can delete it but not get into my files, so if I don't have to I don't need to download any other apps. I read something if you delete that thumbnails that you gallery get slower, is that true?
  8. Sepero

    Sepero Linux Guru Guide

    If you delete the .thumbnail file without replacing it, it will just come back as it was before.

    If your gallery slows down afterwards, you can simply delete the fake .thumbnail that you created, and everything will go back the way it was.

    The gallery doesn't seem slower on my phone. Your results may vary. Cheers
  9. liberi

    liberi New Member

    I will try the app then. I search for the file in my files but I simply don't find it while my cleaner app says that is uses 1.3 gb.
  10. liberi

    liberi New Member

    I don't know how but I think I solved it whitout the app. I'm not sure but I think my sd card is way more empty. My app doesn't sayn the 2 files are there. I created 2 files with the name of the thumbnails which were there but when I wanted to place them in the DCIM they were gone, but I think it worked without placing it there.
    P.S I'm sorry for my bad English
  11. ElBanko

    ElBanko New Member

    Thank you Sepero - put me on the right track. LG Motion with 4.0 - checked settings>storage and noted that photos, video were using 2.68 GB and knew I didn't have that many photos and no videos.

    Three .thumbnail files were there and they were huge (two were over 1 GB each and the third was 500 MB). I opened to see what they were and they were icons indicating broken photo or video.

    CLUE: Not long ago my iPhone friend kept trying to send photos in messaging and they would fail with those icons. We got it worked out so he can now send them but my guess is these icons were created when he sent the photos. FYI: Had him turn off default iMessaging and select Use SMS instead).

    I deleted all three files and regained the 2.68GB space back on my phone (6.0 GB max).

    Rebooted the phone and checked - photos now take only 2.57 MB (not GB) which is what I expected.

    Thanks for lighting the path to resolution. Best to all.
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