How to Enable Thumbnail Previews of SVG Files in Windows 10

If you have to work with SVG files in Windows, you are probably disappointed because Windows has no proper support for them. This is baffling due to the fact that SVG files have existed since the year 2001.

How to Enable Thumbnail Previews of SVG Files in Windows 10

Even though default Windows image viewers such as Windows Photo Viewer can’t open these files, nor can Paint edit them, there is a solution. You can download the extension for the Windows File Explorer which will help you render SVG thumbnail previews on it.

This guide will show you how to do that and give you some more tips and advice.

What Are SVG Images?

SVG is short for Scalable Vector Graphics. In simpler terms, SVG is a vector image, and people who work as web designers, illustrators, graphic designers, or software engineers know them very well.

However, people who are unfamiliar with this file type might be confused. Vector images are based on code and they are a bunch of shapes, text, and dots, which are mathematical. You can move them around and resize them and they won’t lose their sharpness or image quality.

Other types of images are rasterized and consist of pixels and dots. These can be viewed and edited with Windows Photo Viewer and Paint. Unfortunately, these apps aren’t made to work with vector images.

There are many apps for creating and editing vector images, such as SVG-Edit, Vectr, Inkscape, and Fatpaint. If you only want to view an SVG thumbnail, you can do so using Windows 10 File Explorer, but you will need a dedicated extension for it.


SVG File Extension Setup in Windows 10

The extension you are about to download is a shell extension which works as a tool to assist the Windows File Explorer in rendering SVG thumbnails. You can search for the extension manually on the GitHub website, or use the links below.

Here is the link for 32-bit Windows 10 users, and the link for 64-bit Windows users. Don’t worry, we have tested these links and they work properly and are virus-free. The publisher of the extension is not a well-known tech giant, so Windows might warn you about downloading this content.

Follow these steps to install the SVG file extension:

  1. Once you download the appropriate file for your operating system version, click on the file to open it. Click on Run, followed by Yes.
  2. Click on Next to continue the process.
  3. Select “I accept the agreement” if you agree with the license agreement and continue with Next.
  4. Select the installation folder with Browse, or leave the default path and click on Next.
  5. Finally, you can click on Install and wait for the process to end. As a rule, it shouldn’t take long.

How to Use Your Windows 10 File Explorer to View and Organize SVG Files

Once you have the SVG file extension up and running, you can give it a spin. Open a folder where you have SVG files using the Windows File Explorer. Make sure the View is set to large or extra-large icons.

svg thumbnails

You should see the SVG file thumbnails on your screen. Within the thumbnail, there should be a smaller thumbnail denoting the application you are using to open the SVG extension files. Note that you can’t use this extension to edit SVG files on Windows 10.

For that, you would need the editing software mentioned earlier. Alternatively, you can view files with the SVG extension using the Internet Explorer, or other web browsers. If you don’t want this extension anymore, simply use your Control Panel and uninstall it.

Sneak Peek

Remember that this Windows 10 File Explorer extension for SVG files is only for viewing the thumbnails and sorting files. You can’t really do much more. There are dedicated programs that can help you edit such files.

Do you know of any other way to view SVG thumbnails on Windows 10? What software do you use to create and edit SVG files? Share your tips in the comments below.

14 thoughts on “How to Enable Thumbnail Previews of SVG Files in Windows 10”

GaryB says:
Before installing, right click the downloaded .exe file and select Properties, then at the bottom of the dialogue screen tick the box to “unblock” the unknown program, and close the dialogue by clicking “OK”. Then you can install as normal. Worked first time for me, so I hope this helps others.
Rick says:
If you are getting a blocked message, you have to open a command prompt (admin). At the command prompt change directory to the folder where the file resides and then type in the file name to run it.

Note: Right-click on the start button to get to the admin command prompt

Rebecca Wilson says:
My computer blocked this program saying it was bad. So before I try again I wanted to ask if its a safe link.
Liesel says:
I have an issue I cant seem to fix. I have Windows 10 and am using Inkscape. When I first saved svg files I had no issues, after a few days Windows converted all svg files to html documents. I then set Inkscape as the default programme to ‘open with’. Now when I email the svg files the receiver is only seeing parts of the file and not the entire file. I am not a graphic designer, have just taught myself the basics but how do I remedy this? I am clueless, google is of not much help and I require the use of svg files for my small business
Vinnie says:
The app blocking is not a MS thing, it’s a developer thing. He’s using a GNU based code signing certificate. If an executable is signed using a certificate from a non-trusted CA (Certificate Authority), Windows will block it. This is Windows code signing 101 … if you’re going to release a Windows executable, it needs to be signed using a certificate obtained from a valid Windows trusted CA (think VeriSign).

This won’t work until he gets a valid Windows compatible code signing certificate.

Irma c Totin says:
the link for 64 bit does not work my computer blocked it
azon2111 says:
Installs just fine if you run the exe from an elevated command line. That means run as administator for the app called command line (search your search by typing “cmd” and then right-click or the option to “Run As Administrator”. Once there, you must change to the directory you downloaded the file then just type the file name and hit enter. That will start the installer without issue.

This was mentioned above but might not have been clear.

Jackie Schutte says:
Good day, I have installed multiple times, using “Run as Administrator, used the signed version, the unsigned version, the latest version, 1.0.0 and the older version as well. Each time I have tried a different option, I have made sure I have done a full clean, uninstall. I am not super computer savy, and desperately need this extension as I use SVG files foyr my silhouette cameo. Are you aware of any other fixes, I might try.
Larry Dietz says:
Hmmm, installed this, after working around the UAC issue. Appears to have installed OK, but I am still seeing IE icons in Explorer, to open them in IE. Not seeing the thumbnails. Any idea what I did wrong?
Delexicus says:
Just enter the dssee_setup_x64_v011_signed.exe location from an admin command prompt. Somehow this bypasses the UAC check.
Arjan says:
Thanks Delexicus, your solution worked for me!
Michele says:
I have this same issue, even when I use “Run as Administrator”.
sachin says:
this app has been blocked for your protection.
an admisnistrator has blocked you from running this app
whats he solution
Jaime says:
There has to be a fix … geez … I’m having the same problem
Mimi says:
Same here. Why would Micro$oft blacklist that?

Comments are closed.

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