How to fix Finder won’t show icon previews in macOS Big Sur?

Question

Issue: How to fix Finder won’t show icon previews in macOS Big Sur?

Hello. I have a problem with my Mac that appeared after a Big Sur upgrade. Thumbnails and icon previews are not visible anymore. It happens with Finder directly and the Dropbox app. I tried rebooting, but the issue persists. Can you say anything about this?

Solved Answer

Finder won't show icon previews in macOS Big Sur is the issue that people report[1] as annoying. It is frustrating when the preview thumbnails disappear, and you can see the generic jpeg icon only. Various issues can appear after the particular macOS update, so Big Sur problems are not entirely new.[2]

Upgrades of the operating system often have bugs and other problems that need fixing, so upgrading to the latest version can solve this issue too, if you notice the relation between the recent macOS upgrade to Big Sur and this Finder preview issue. There are many issues with the macOS Big Sur version that we have already covered: camera not working in macOS Big Sur, Mac crashing after Big Sur update, display not recognized after Big Sur update.

Corruption of various files and settings can trigger such issues. One of the possible triggers for the Finder won't show icon previews in the macOS Big Sur problem.DS_Store file corruption. This is the piece that contains such settings related to previewing options.

This problem can also be the result of application compatibility because applications that are associated with files cannot render certain data. Third-party applications might cause this preview problem, so you may need to switch back to Finder instead of other programs and fix Finder won't show icon previews in macOS Big Sur this way.

Finder won't show icon previews is the problem that shouldn't be related to any cyber infections[3] or security issues. But mac malware is a real thing, and the damage caused by the infection can lead to file corruption and alterations in settings. ReimageMac Washing Machine X9 is the program that should help with PUPs, traces of unwanted applications, and act as a security or damage fixing application.

We recommend running this app as a first step in the procedure. Other methods include more in-depth instructions and steps, so following them is important. The quickest one is the OS's update, but the issue might be related to more difficult settings than that.

Finder won't show icon previews in macOS Big Sur?

Method 1. Relaunch Finder to fix Finder won't show icon previews in macOS Big Sur

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  • Go to the Home.
  • Then click Library and choose Preferences.
    Preferences folder
  • Delete the com.apple.finder.plist.
  • Right-click Finder and select Relaunch.

Method 2. Enable Show Preview option

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  • Go to Finder.
  • Click View.
  • Choose Show View Options.
  • Select Show icon preview.
  • Close the window.

Method 3. Change default app settings to fix Finder won't show icon previews in macOS Big Sur

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To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.
  • Right-click the file.
  • Choose Get info.
  • Under the Open with select Preview app.
    Open with

Method 4. Update to the latest Big Sur version

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To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.
  • Go to the System Preferences.
  • Click Software Updates and check for the newest ones.
    OS update
  • If any are available – Update now.
  • Install the update and follow the wizard.

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About the author
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate computer expert

Gabriel E. Hall is an expert troubleshooter who has been working in the information technology industry for years.

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