File Explorer shows you thumbnails for all files unless it’s a file it doesn’t recognize. Videos almost always have a thumbnail and unless a specific thumbnail is set for it, Windows 10 will use the first frame as the thumbnail. This may, or may not help you identify what the video is. You can set a different thumbnail image for a video and make the thumbnail for it more useful. Here’s how.
Thumbnail image for video
You can do this with loads of apps but we’re going with a simple command line utility called Tag Editor. It’s a free, open source utility that you can download from Github. Download and extract the file. You will find the EXE inside the bin folder.
To keep things simple, you should copy the video that you want to set the thumbnail image for, and the thumbnail image to this same folder i.e., the one with the tageditor.exe file in it. For the cover image, you can extract a frame from the video and use it as the thumbnail or you can create a custom image. It’s up to you.
Since this is a command line tool, you will need to use it via Command Prompt. You can open Command Prompt and use the cd command to move to the extracted app folder, specifically the bin folder. Alternatively, you can open Command Prompt inside the bin folder by typing cmd in the location bar in File Explorer.
Run the command below after you change the name and extension of the cover image and the video to whatever your own cover image and videos are called.
tageditor -s cover=my-cover.jpg --max-padding 125000 -f My_video.mp4
To be clear, you will replace ‘my-cover.jpg’ and ‘My_video.mp4’.
Tap enter, and the new thumbnail will be set within seconds.
When you next view the file in File Explorer, it will display the new thumbnail that you’ve set for it.
If you have a lot of videos that you want to set a thumbnail for, and it isn’t convenient to move them all wih their covers to the app’s folder, what you can do is you can add the app to your PATH and you will be able to call it from anywhere.
The thumbnail isn’t just set for you. This app, as it’s name clearly implies, is editing the tags or the metadata of the file and metadata is copied with the file so if you upload the file or send it to anyone, they will get the same thumbnail.