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Hi, I just started using Sumatra and am really impressed. A couple of months ago I switched from mac to windows 10 and have been looking for a good PDF app.

My question is: is there a way this program can show a thumb of the first page of a pdf file if it is sitting on the desktop? I am lead to believe that adobe acrobat can do this so I thought Sumatra might have an option somewhere to turn this feature on.

Thanks for any advice.


During installation if you click ‘option’ button, you can select to enable thumbnails.

You can safely re-install Sumatra to enable that.


Awesome! It might seem like a little thing to most people but the way my desktop is always covered in files, getting a visual cue helps me a lot.

Thankyou for the quick reply kjk. :slight_smile:


Id like to request that this configuration option be put in the options menu so people dont have to reinstall. Im sure there are plenty of people who have stopped using Sumatra just because not having thumbnails is a major disadvantage for a pdf reader.

Also when installing these config options should not be hidden in a “more options” button as they are not really advanced options but common options that most users would want to know about. Also these options are worded vaguely, like: “allow windows desktop to show image” or something like that, the average user would have no idea that this is referring to the thumbnail images of the pdf icon.


Thanks, it’s a good idea.

I opened an issue for it (


I made the exact same suggestion some time back as well:

Of course additionally having the option available inside the app itself so a reinstall isn’t required if you forget to select it during setup would be even better.


I would like this, too! I keep many files of needlework patterns, and it would be MUCH easier if I could see what the item actually looks like, without having to open every. Single. One. This is the reason I went looking for another PDF reader in the first place…also, I didn’t like having everything open into the Edge browser.

I don’t understand about an “option” button during installation. I clicked on “install”, it installed and then asked if I wanted to open it. There was nothing to click on before that.


99% people are in a tearing hurry and seem to miss the option, and then complain about it. That’s why I mentioned above that it’s better if the installer displays it by default instead of hiding it.



BTW if you didn’t see this yellow installation dialog at all, it means you’ve installed something other than the official SumatraPDF Reader available from this very site. For example you might have installed an unauthorized version from the Microsoft/Windows Store, in which case you’ll need to uninstall it and install the official release.


@sumatrapeter I downloaded from that exact link (the 32bit version) and that option doesn’t show. I only see the first one. only worked on the 64 bit

still, i support the sugestion to make this the default mode, or else, at least allow it after the instalation ( but default is probably better, who doesnt use this? xD

using win10



Please ensure you are downloading the correct installer
32bit extensions will only work on 32bit windows
64bit extensions will only work on 64bit windows
you can run the MAIN 32 bit app on windows 64bit but it should not install it’s preview function
(sometimes that is a common preference for portable instalations WITHOUTthe preview extension)


As @GitHubRulesOK has rightly pointed out, running the 32-bit installer under 64-bit Windows will only allow you to change the installation path. Neither of those two checkboxes will be shown. Use the installer that matches the bitness of your OS.


on riesco a visualizzare i file .PDF in esplora risorse.
“Visualizza anteprime e non solo icone” è scelto.
Solo con Adobe riesco…
Ma con Sumatra, no.
Cosa sbaglio ??

[Moderator’s note: Please post in English in future for a faster response, thanks!

Online translation: I am unable to view the .PDF files in Explorer. “View thumbnails and not just icons” is chosen. Only with Adobe can I do so, but not with Sumatra. What am I doing wrong?]


@Nico: See the screenshots above for more help.


Giusto, è scritto sopra il metodo da utilizzare…GRAZIE GRAZIE

Right, it’s written on top of the method to use… Thank you, thank you…


So this feature is great, and all my pdfs now have preview icons in Windows 10.

The problem I am having is that if I edit a pdf with PDF-Xchange, I lose the icon. Only way to get it back is to reinstall Sumatra.

Am I missing something?


There should be an option either in PDF-Xchange installer or in PDF-Xchange itself to set this program as default for PDF files. You should turn this option off before reinstalling SumatraPDF.


Nothing I did changes the behavior.

In the process of trying to sort this, I since set Microsoft Edge as the default pdf viewer. Seems to work OK and all my thumbnails issues are resolved.


Thank you very much!
Now I can see thumbnails for my ebooks.


Is there any way to enable previews for epub files?
The PDF preview is showing up fine. I’m on Windows 10.



If you compile your own copy then you can enable the experimental support for all formats, It is not included in public daily or pre-release for a few reasons.

Long time restraint has been the issue of icons for different types, so epub thumbnails show standard SumatraPDF icon, that will produce a flurry of “why not change this and thats”
Not every format supported by SumatraPDF will show as thumbnails so the second flood of complaints will be it does not show my 0.1% of my favourite documents.
There are other very minor issues, but the main complaint will be it does not work for this or that association.
here is a screenshot showing a few of those issues

Not every epub has its own cover
Currently FB2 covers may not be always shown
In this raw initial install only the icons for pdf are shown and they are for edge as it is the default associated handler

So what can a basic user do if they don’t want to build and tweak their own variant.
You could use 3rd party solutions for each format as advertised in the following link but first I suggest you look closer @SumatraPeter s answer prior to that at