Preview pane allows you to see preview of file content, without opening it. See this fix, if preview pane not working in Windows 10/8/7.

In Windows, preview pane is enabled by default. This means when you click on any file whose format supports previewing, you’ll see a preview of file content in preview pane. Usually, file formats such as .txt, .bat, .html, .reg etc. will support previewing. The preview of file content is displayed with the help of preview handlers. These preview handlers may be the default apps which are set specifically for a particular file format.

However, if you’ve realized that preview pane no longer works on your system, this article is for you. Try below mentioned fix and see if it helps you to resolve the issue.

Preview Pane Not Working In Windows 10

FIX: Preview Pane Not Working In Windows 10/8/7

FIX 1 – Via Folder Options

1. Press W8K + E to open File Explorer.

2. Under File Explorer ribbon, click View > Options > Change folder and search options.

Preview Pane Not Working In Windows 10

3. In Folder Options window, switch to View tab. Under Advanced settings, check Show preview handlers in preview pane option to enable preview pane. Click Apply followed by OK.

Preview Pane Not Working In Windows 10

This setting should be applied immediately. So you can check in File Explorer now, and you’ll find that preview pane is working.

If issue still persists, try FIX 2 mentioned below.

FIX 2 – Via Registry

Registry Disclaimer: Below mentioned steps will involve registry manipulation. Making mistakes while manipulating registry could affect your system adversely. So be careful while editing registry entries and create a System Restore point first.

1. Press W8K + R and put regedit in Run dialog box to open Registry Editor (if you’re not familiar with Registry Editor, then click here). Click OK.

Windows 10 Registry Editor

2. In left pane of Registry Editor window, navigate to following registry key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

Preview Pane Not Working In Windows 10

3. In the right pane of Advanced registry key, find the ShowPreviewHandlers registry DWORD (REG_DWORD) which might be having its Value data set to 0. Double click on this DWORD to modify the Value data.

Preview Pane Not Working In Windows 10

4. Finally, set the Value data to 1. Click OK, close Registry Editor and reboot.

After restarting your system, preview pane should be working fine.

Preview Pane Not Working In Windows 10

Hope this helps!

8 Comments

  • Im not able to preview WPS office file in the window folder. Tried above method, but it doesn’t help. Any other solution?

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Have you tried registry method as well?

  • I tried both methods but neither of them work. So I change the setting, close the window then when I go back in to check, ‘Show preview handlers in preview pane’ is unchecked. Same for the second method, when I open it, the number goes back to 0. Any suggestion to fix this?

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Which Windows version you’re on? Recommend you to latest one and see if it helps. Please note that not all file formats support previewing content.

  • There’s no ‘ShowPreviewHandlers’ option on mine. I am on Windows 10. After ‘ShowInfoTip’ is ‘ShowStatusBar’.

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ You can try creating ShowPreviewHandlers registry DWORD manually.

  • THANK YOU! The first fix, this PC, options, preview file handler, apply worked immediately. I’m so grateful. :)

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Glad to help Rebecca!

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