Preview SVG Files in Windows Explorer with Microsoft PowerToys

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SVG files are like JPG, PNG, and GIF files. They’re all images. But unlike JPG, PNG, and GIF files - which are raster images - SVG files are vector images. And, unlike JPG, PNG, and GIF files, SVG files don’t render a thumbnail in Windows Explorer or show up as a preview.

I’m not entirely sure why. They just aren’t, as much as I would like them to be.

After all, it would be nice if I had a list of, say, six different Easter egg designs, that I could rely on what those designed look like instead of their filenames:

A list of six Easter egg SVG files in Windows Explorer with no thumbnail.

In my vain effort to fix this most egregious mistake, I searched for “svg preview in windows explorer” on Google.

I did get some results, most notably the following SuperUser posts:

These led me to a few different plug-ins, but none of them worked.

I did, however, eventually enable SVG thumbnails and previews in Windows Explorer.

I got a few cool extras when I did, as well.

I discovered Microsoft PowerToys

After I installed Microsoft PowerToys, the icon for each file became a thumbnail, just as I always wanted:

The six Easter egg SVG files in Windows Explorer with a thumbnail.

So that’s how to get SVG thumbnails in Windows Explorer.

More on Microsoft PowerToys

Microsoft PowerToys is a reimagining of the Windows 95 PowerToys that was available over two decades ago.

Written in primarily C++ and C#, Microsoft PowerToys is an open-source project headed by the folks at Microsoft.

It has a number of useful utilities, including:

P.S. If you like my Easter Eggs SVG graphics, they’re available on my Easter Egg Collection on the Noun Project. (Or at least some of them, for now.)

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