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I've got a Samsung Galaxy S2 Plus (GT-I9105P) with Android 4.2.2 and I've got many photos. The folder with the Gallery previews (the one that stores thumbnail to load images faster) takes about 1GB of storage (815,9MB, precisely) and if I delete it, when I open the Gallery app it recreates.

Here you can see it.
Here you can see it (click image to enlarge)

"Anteprime galleria" in Italian means "Gallery previews". The folder itself is called "DCIM" and it's in the phone's memory (All my photos are in teh SD card) and it contains an hidden .thumbnails folder.

Screenshot

So, how can I delete it and make sure it won't recreate?

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Do you really want to do that? That might lead to you no more being able to see your images in the gallery. But if you want to try:

  1. open a file manager of your choice and navigate to the DCIM folder
  2. delete the .thumbnails directory
  3. create a file named .thumbnails
  4. open the file's properties, and set it "read only"

Now, as there cannot be two objects with the identical name, the gallery cannot re-create the folder. As the existing object is a file, it cannot put its thumbnails in there, either.

  • Thanks, I tried and it worked fine. Nothing happened to the photos, and seems like the gallery loads it even faster than before! – PazEr80 Dec 18 '13 at 14:22
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    The first part was expected, the second irritates me. But important thing is, it worked and solved your issue :) – Izzy Dec 18 '13 at 15:15
  • @Izzy well great, it's going to bother me now also. That... doesn't make sense unless they are cached (which is very unlikely). I would have thought they wouldn't work, and certainly not after a reboot! – RossC Dec 18 '13 at 15:34
  • @RossC Thinking about it: What would happen if the card were full, no space left? Gallery couldn't generate thumbnails then either. As a dev, I would consider that possibility. What rather puzzles me is that it should "load even faster than before". While it should work, I'd expect it to be slower (as it always has to load the "big file"). – Izzy Dec 18 '13 at 15:46
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    @RossC the "disk" could also be filled remotely, i.e. by copying files from your computer until it's "filled up". No thumbnails for the copied pics. And no space left to create any. It would be bad practice to have the gallery ignore new pics then; the media scanner could still update its library (different storage). Just loading should take longer than, especially when displaying a collection of more than one file (as opposed to directly opening a single file). – Izzy Dec 18 '13 at 15:52
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For deleting the thumbnails you need to follow the following steps no need to download any app for it.

  1. create a new folder on your desktop, inside that folder create a text document and rename it as .file

  2. make as many text document files with extension as .file as there are .thumbnail files under your DCIM folder => .thumbnail files and rename the text document files with exactly the same name as .thumbnail files (or you can make some text document files and rename them again and again with the new .thumbnail files).

  3. delete all the original .thumbnail files and replace it with the new text document files that you made with the extension .file

  4. reboot your phone and you are done.

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