SketchUp Thumbnails Don’t Display (Solved!)

sketchup thumbnail

I was losing my mind with this thumbnail problem in Sketchup until I found a very simple solution that I couldn’t find in any forum or on the Sketchup help page.

Sketchup is one of the tools I use every day along with AutoCAD, I recently had a problem where it stopped displaying the thumbnails of the files.

That was driving me crazy because I work with a lot of files and I really need to preview, what had me most worried is that I tried absolutely EVERY piece of advice on forums related to solving the problem and nothing worked for me.

I tried installing a new version of Sketchup, changed the path to the thumbnails file in windows, re-installed the program as administrator, and more, I really tried everything and nothing worked for me.

But, given my desperation to solve the problem, I tried something that no one has yet mentioned to solve this problem and it worked, it is something very simple.

Next, I will explain what worked for me, and what could work for many other people, and I will also explain the other methods to solve this problem since the disappearance of the thumbnails could be due to different causes.

Read and try at least the first two methods, and I assure you that you will solve the problem.

SketchUp thumbnails don’t display, the easy and definitive solution

If you have tried everything and still can’t solve the problem, try this simple solution that I will explain below.

  • Go to the window start button (the window symbol at the bottom left).
  •  Go to Settings
  • Choose System
  • On the left side, select Default app
  • Under Reset to the Microsoft recommended defaults, click Reset

You can also get to the default app by clicking the window start button and typing “default applications” in the search bar.



That’s it! This solved my problem of missing thumbnails in Sketchup.

But, make sure you have your Sketchup properly installed, I will explain below all the other options I tried to solve the problem.

After performing that step of resetting the apps to the ones recommended by windows, in that same app window go to choose default apps by file type and make sure to select your most current version of SketchUp for SKP files.

These two simple steps should solve the whole problem.

This solution is in case absolutely nothing worked for you, for me it really was like finding an oasis in a desert, I really wasn’t going to be able to work if I couldn’t see the thumbnails of the Sketchup models.

Another method to permanently fix the problem

Ok, it is possible that the above method works temporarily, if this is the case, here is another method to solve once and for all the problem of missing thumbnails in Sketchup.

First, uninstall the version of Sketchup you are using.

Second, you must enter the system registry window, In the window search box of the taskbar, for this, you can access it quickly with the shortcut keys for Run: Windows + R (press the Windows logo key and then R).

Or type Regedit in the window search box, then select Registry Editor, or simply type regedit in the window browser and press enter.


When the window editor window opens go to edit then search and type “SketchUp”.

regedit find

Delete the SketchUp files in the folders you find, especially the ones related to thumbnails.

These files are simply leftovers from previous SketchUp installations that are causing the missing thumbnail error.

If you don’t find the file the first time you look for it, hit “find next” in the same edit option in the editor registry until you find a SketchUp-related file containing the name thumbnail, and delete it.


And no, deleting files in the Sketchup folder from the window registry will not harm your system. When you reinstall the program, these files will be installed correctly.

Finally, exit the system registry and reinstall SketchUp as administrator.

Voila! problem solved!

Other steps to solve the problem

This problem with Sketchup thumbnails not appearing can be due to several problems, in my case, it seems to be a bad installation of the program, here are some other solutions you can try to solve the problem.

  • In Windows go to Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization ;
  • Click Folder Options
  • Click on the View tab
  • Under Advanced Settings, uncheck Always show icons, never thumbnails
  • Click OK

Here is a link that takes you directly to the SketchUp help page where they explain the two basic steps to solve this problem, be sure to try this as well.

Another important fact, if you have tried everything explained here and still have problems, you have to reinstall your Microsoft Visual C++ from 2005-2017.

Choose the x86 version if your computer is 64 bits (all modern PCs are 64 bits).

Why does this problem happen with SketchUp and thumbnails?

In my case, the problem is not due to a bug in the Sketchup program, rather it is one that is caused by the window operating system when installing different versions of Sketchup.

Apparently, the path to preview files from another older version of Sketchup on windows gets registered, and this causes the bug.

This is all, I hope this information has been useful to you.

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  1. Thank you, editing the Registry Editor and then repairing sketchup work for me.

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