How to Add Thumbnail View to SharePoint Online Document Library?

Add Thumbnail View to SharePoint Online Document Library

Thumbnail preview for documents in SharePoint Online is a great productivity addition that helps to get the document snapshot without actually opening the documents. Image preview or thumbnail preview is not available in a document Library by default. However, You can add thumbnail preview by adding a custom metadata column called “Thumbnail”, and it will automatically display the thumbnail image of the file.

Here is a nifty trick to add thumbnail view to document libraries in SharePoint Online:

  1. Navigate to your document library >> Click on “Add column” and choose “Picture” type.
    sharepoint online document thumbnail
  2. Enter the column name as “Thumbnail” and make sure the type is  “Picture” and click on the “Save” button to create the column.
    sharepoint online document library thumbnail view
  3. Now, you’ll see the thumbnails are populated for documents and images in the library. SharePoint automatically adds a snap shot (preview) of the first page of each file.
sharepoint online document library thumbnail view

The thumbnail column generates image preview for Word, PowerPoint, PDF, Emails (.msg), Video (.mp4) and other image file formats. Switching to “Tile” view also gets you the preview of the documents.

Salaudeen Rajack

Salaudeen Rajack - Information Technology Expert with Two-decades of hands-on experience, specializing in SharePoint, PowerShell, Microsoft 365, and related products. He has held various positions including SharePoint Architect, Administrator, Developer and consultant, has helped many organizations to implement and optimize SharePoint solutions. Known for his deep technical expertise, He's passionate about sharing the knowledge and insights to help others, through the real-world articles!

3 thoughts on “How to Add Thumbnail View to SharePoint Online Document Library?

  • Thanks, you saved me from a mental breakdown over stupid Cloudsharing 😀

  • I want to use those thumbnail images in another library, By chance is there a way to find the Url of those Thumbnail images, Please help

  • Document sets & power Apps
    SharePoint Online
    I want to have a search for documents by properties or unique ID #’s or file names.
    I am unable to search & pull all docs from the doc set. Can you help?


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