Huge thumbdata4 file in DCIM folderGeneral

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  1. prepbgg

    prepbgg Well-Known Member

    I have recently noticed a huge (>3.5GB) file in the DCIM/.thumbnails folder. I have tried deleting it, but the next time I open the Camera app it rebuilds the file (and locks up the phone, sometimes displaying a "media scanning in progress" message, in the process.)

    The total file size of all the photos displayed in the Gallery is around 500MB. There are in addition around 35,000 images in folders containing .nomedia files to instruct Android to ignore the media therein. The total file size of these is around 1.5GB. The Gallery app is correctly ignoring these images, but I wonder whether the Camera app is misbehaving and actually processing them.

    I think this problem has emerged since the ICS upgrade ... either when the phone was first updated from Gingerbread or at some later date. I am currently on 4.0.4.

    Any ideas, please?


  2. GiggityGiggity

    GiggityGiggity Well-Known Member

    I've got 3800 images on my phone and I thought that was excessive! I've just checked and I have 2 files in that folder that are approximately 390mb each. I don't even use the standard gallery app and half of my files are set with the .nomedia files. If you have 35,000 images then it appears that the gallery app is setting a thumbnail for every single one regardless of the .nomedia settings but just doesn't show the ones it shouldn't. That's just stupid.

    I use QuickPic instead of gallery as I find the gallery app bloody awful to use. You could try using that and then disabling the gallery app. My guess is you could then delete the huge file and as the app is disabled it won't reappear unless you re-enable it.

    Lastly can I just ask.... why do you have 35,000 images on your phone?
  3. prepbgg

    prepbgg Well-Known Member

    Most of them are used an app that I have written. Also there are quite a few that belong to web pages that I have saved for offline viewing.

    I like QuickPic too, especially for its greater degree of control over sort order. (Why does the stock gallery only have "newest first"!?) At first I found it took too long to open up ... I think it was correctly paying attention to my .nomedia files but it was taking a minute or so to trawl through the whole folder structure and picking up all the photos that Gallery finds ... However, I have now found the menu option to restrict it just to the few photo folders that I'm interested in. It now opens in a flash.
  4. prepbgg

    prepbgg Well-Known Member

    By googling I have found references to a bug in ICS that may be causing this problem.

    Following advice here I have:

    1. Deleted the thumbdata file (in DCIM/.thumbnails)

    2. In Settings->Applications->All->Gallery: cleared data (only a few MB), (I would also have cleared the cache if there was anything there), then "Force stop"

    3. In Settings->Applications->All->Media Storage: cleared data (only about 30MB), (I would also have cleared the cache if there was anything there), then "Force stop"

    4. Restarted the phone

    When I next ran the Camera app it was unresponsive for a long time, perhaps 20 to 30 minutes, presumably while it was re-scanning media files. After waiting for this to complete things now seem to be OK:
    - Camera, Gallery and QuickPic all seem to work
    - thumbdata4 seems to have settled at about 500MB
  5. salla43

    salla43 Well-Known Member

    create a txt file, rename it to the thumbdata file name, delete the big thumbdata file, copy over the small txt file in its place. seems to work ok for me. i had around 5gb of thumb file, terribly wasteful.

    use quickpic its much better anyway. And you can easily specify which folder you want it to access rather than all the other crap.
    zhiro90 likes this.
  6. prepbgg

    prepbgg Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the suggestion.

    I agree that QuickPic is better than Gallery, but I'm not sure that gallery is the thumbdata culprit. I think it's probably the Media Storage process in Android.
  7. ppero196

    ppero196 New Member

    I created a simple app that will do the job!
    With a press of the button!

    Attached Files:

    jmelyn, Gravitaty, Jack Percy and 7 others like this.
  8. prepbgg

    prepbgg Well-Known Member

    Thanks ppero196. I'll use that.

    As a matter of interest, do you think it is a bug that has turned up in ICS, or did you have the problem before?
    april pizano likes this.
  9. wadster21

    wadster21 Member

    This is to introduce myself so I can post a link.
  10. wadster21

    wadster21 Member

    If you're still looking for a solution, the new folder method described here worked for me.
  11. srvctec

    srvctec Member

    I'm having the exact same issue on my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 and posted about it over on XDA, but don't have a high enough post count to post links. I've deleted the 2 thumdata3 files that were taking up 3.3GB of space causing my Tab to show a message in the notification bar that I didn't have enough internal storage space.

    This screenshot is BEFORE deleting the 2 thumbdata3 files and substituting folders with the same names.

    This screenshot is AFTER both thumdata3 files were deleted and replaced with 2 folders with the exact same names.

    I just don't understand how deleting over 3GB worth of files won't show up as freed space as far as the OS is concerned. If I browse using ES File Explorer, it shows the files are gone. I'm about ready to do a factory reset, but not looking forward to the 6-8 hours of setup getting my Tab back to the way it is.
  12. tweakertje

    tweakertje New Member

    Same problem with my galaxy s3
    can I move the thumb file to the extsdcard that is not carrying apps and is 64GB
    Its realy annoying
  13. srvctec

    srvctec Member

    I factory reset my Tab and then put two empty folders in place of the thumbdata files that grow huge and that solved the problem. I notice no problems in the operation of my Tab, either.
  14. franklorvik

    franklorvik New Member

    I tried to clear up space on my internal SD card (on a Samsung Galaxy SIII mini) by moving thousands of thumbnails files and the .thumbdata3-1967290299-file (278 MB large) files to my external SD card and all my apps disappeared from my screens. Is this strange or what? Stupidly I don't remember which folder I copied these thumbnail-JPG-files to, does anyone know which folder they belong in because it doesn't seem to be the DCIM/.thumbnails-folder (my apps don't reappear...).
    april pizano likes this.
  15. chekole

    chekole Member

    ppero196 thanks a lot for the apk. It really worked for my sisters's tablet :)
    cbc69 and april pizano like this.
  16. flipper88888888

    flipper88888888 New Member

    Same thing, mine is 4gb, on my sisters tablet I was able to delete it! Not on mine, hers is a lenovo a1000l... 4.1.2 jellybean, mine is 4.3, they forgot about it I guess, I can't delete it:-(
  17. flipper88888888

    flipper88888888 New Member

    Doesn't install!!!
    april pizano likes this.
  18. archz2

    archz2 Well-Known Member

    Thanks a lot for this brilliant app!
  19. ahanas

    ahanas New Member

    Hey PPero, m not able to download the file. Only 18.4 kb is getting downloaded each time try.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks and regards,
  20. ahanas

    ahanas New Member

    Hey PPero, m not able to download the file. Only 18.4 kb is getting downloaded each time try.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks and regards,
  21. g21

    g21 New Member

    For me the greatest solution is to delete .thumbnails and to make the file with the same name manually (from adb for example: adb shell touch /sdcard/DCIM/.thumbnails). In this case Camera app. works good, but the shortcut to Gallery in Camera app. does not work. Separately Gallery app. works normally. Tested on Samsung Ace 2 with Android 4.1.2.
  22. skaybaltimore

    skaybaltimore New Member

  23. teamtax

    teamtax New Member

    Thanks to the forum, because of this file i have successfully deleted thumbnails folder. Once again thanks to the developer and forum for posting, but in my mobile after deleting thumbnails are creating again please provide me complete soulution.
  24. 458rajesh

    458rajesh New Member

    I deleted the .thumbnails folder and then created an empty .thumbnails folder in theDCIM folder. .but after that the free ststorage space doesnt change by much. .ive got about 4-5gb in the thumbnail folder. .anyone??
    Ive also downloaded that thumbnail deleter but it says cannot open file. :(
  25. Help me SD Card Capacity 4GB but thumbdata 549MB & 3,1GB #FromIndonesia :(
    Android Device Movimax P9 OS 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich

    Attached Files:

  26. BHSPitMonkey

    BHSPitMonkey New Member

    Best Answer
    The reason deleting these files isn't giving you much free space in return is that they are "sparse files":

    Basically, they appear to be larger than they really are. The filesystem is able to make them take up very little space because they are mostly empty.

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