How to Get Photoshop Thumbnail Previews of .PSD Files in Windows 7 (32 or 64bit)

by Updated September 16, 2010

Ever since moving to a Windows 7 (64 bit) computer, I haven't been able to view Photoshop thumbnail previews of .psd files in Windows Explorer.  However, today I decided to find a solution to this anonying problem, so that I could start seeing previews of the .psd files before actually opening the file. 

At first, I tried two solutions that dealt with registering various .dll files (aiicon.dll and psicon.dll) as well as as extracting the PSDCodec.dll from the Microsoft Expression Blend application.  Both of these apparent solutions, didn't work for me on my Windows 7 64-bit computer, and just cost me a lot of time to be honest.

Instead, the solution that worked for me really quickly, and which was able show thumbnail previews of .psd files in Windows Explorer was to simply download the MysticThumbs plugin for Windows Explorer.  The plugin allows you to view many image file types like photoshop .PSD files that are not natively supported by Windows.  The other nice thing about MysticThumbs is that it supports Windows 7, Vista and XP in both 64-bit and 32-bit.

To get the MysticThumbs .PSD thumbnail viewer working on Windows 7 follow these steps:

  1. Go to:
  2. Then depedning on your computer, download either the x86 Installer (32 bit OS) or x64 Installer (64 bit OS) msi file.
  3. Run the MysticThumbs msi file.
  4. After MysticThumbs installs, I would recommend restarting your computer.

That's it... I've just been using MysticThumbs for a short while now, so I will update this post if I run into any issues.  So far it seems to be working out well!

UPDATE: 8-23-2010  -  It's been about two weeks since I first installed mystic thumbs, however I started experiencing some performance issues (my mouse would get slow for a few seconds).  I had read previously that Mystic Thumbs was a resource hog for some reason and the control panel for Mystic Thumbs actually has a Clear Cache button, which is another reason why I'm suspecting the issues I was experiencing was due in large part to Mystic Thumbs. I cleared the cache, and then cleared Internet Explorer cache and my mouse began acting normal...  At any rate, I've uninstalled Mystic Thumbs and will see if that was the main cause of the quirky mouse issue that just cropped up in the last two weeks after installing Mystic Thumbs.  I'll try to update this post in the next two weeks.

UPDATE: 8-31-2010 - OK, so I think I figured out what was causing my mouse to slow down.  I had recently started using a Logitech Wave Pro wireless mouse at around the same time as I had installed Mystic Thumbs.  However, I never actually installed the actual drivers using the Logitech CD.  Instead, I was just using what Windows 7 had automatically determined as the drivers.  Well, I decided to load the drivers from the CD onto my computer, and then ran an update to get the latest driver updates.  After doing this, my mouse issues seem to have gone away for the most part.  I tested a Dell corded mouse, with Mystic Thumbs installed and never had any issues.

After moving the Logitech wireless mouse receiver closer to my mouse using a USB extender cord, the mouse lag issues that I had experienced in the past have gone away.  I had previously connected the receiver to a USB port on the back of my monitor, but I suspect that interference caused the lag issues.

Conclusion, my mouse lag issues were caused by the Logitech Wave Pro mouse/receiver, not because of any issue due to installing Mystic Thumbs.  So all in all, I give Mystic Thumbs a 2 thumbs up for making it easy to view .PSD thumbnail files on a Windows computer. Thanks also to Ian, the developer of Mystic Thumbs for being actively involved in helping me sort out my mouse lag problem, and for wanting to create the best product possible in Mystic Thumbs! Download Mystic Thumbs here!




anonymous by bittle on 3/16/2011
You article fails to mention that you have to pay for MysticThumbs.
Very annoying...
Doug by Doug on 3/16/2011
When I initially wrote the article, I had just downloaded the 30 day free trial version. I believe the Single User License for MysticThumbs is $25. Which may or may not be worth it for you... but if you use photoshop a lot on a Windows computer it can certainly make things much easier when searching for files visually.

I'm still using MysticThumbs and it runs great in the background on my computer... I've had no issues with it (since that initial problem that turned out to be an issue with my wireless mouse, not MysticThumbs).

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