Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a lot of images on my laptop as I work in graphics. On the same system, I also have a folder containing my family pictures.

I would like to do two things:

  • Empty the already cached images

and then

  • "blacklist" or exclude the folder holding the family pictures as I use Shotwell for organizing/adding/deleting these files

In the settings of Nautilus you can only change global settings.

File Management Preferences preview tab

Any ideas?

share|improve this question
up vote 20 down vote accepted

Thumbnails are stored in ~/.cache/thumbnails. Simply deleting everything in there will reset your thumbnails, causing them to be recreated according to the global settings. I'm afraid I can't think of a way to prevent a specific directory from being thumbnailed.

Note: In Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin) and older, the thumbnails are stored in ~/.thumbnails. But please verify this for your own distro. Lubuntu 12.10 (a clean install) has its thumbnails in ~/.thumbnails and there is no thumbnails subfolder in ~/.cache.

share|improve this answer
would hidden files or files in a hidden folder be indexed? – Allan Mar 8 '11 at 16:01
The thumbnailer will only start when you browse to the directory in question - it doesn't silently scan your system looking for things to thumbnail. So if you have hidden image/video files, they won't be thumbnailed unless you show them. But if you show them, they'll be thumbnailed! – Scaine Mar 9 '11 at 9:31
looks like a Ubuntu brainstorm/ Launchpad feature request :( thanks for the info though – Allan Mar 13 '11 at 22:02

BleachBit can wipe your thumbnail cache, I believe. Not sure how to blacklist a folder from getting thumbnails, though.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.