If I set in Nautilus preferences that it should generate thumbnail previews only for files larger than 10 MB, then this only works for pictures.

Nautilus still keeps generating thumbnails for videos and pdf files. Even if a video file is 500 MB. It should only generate thumbnails for video files less than 10 MB as set in the preferences. Same goes for pdf. I have many pdf files that are larger than 50 MB. I don't want Nautilus to generate thumbnails for these, only for small sized pdf.

How can I make Nautilus to obey the Previews preferences?

Nautilus 3.4.2 Ubuntu 12.04.1, 64bit

  • This is a bug and thus is off-topic for the site
    – Anwar
    Oct 3, 2012 at 8:17
  • 1
    To close voters: it seems not a bug but a feature - see answer below.
    – Takkat
    Oct 3, 2012 at 10:29
  • 1
    @Anwar I agree this is not a bug.
    – nanofarad
    Oct 3, 2012 at 20:46

3 Answers 3


This is a known bug affecting all the distros (not Ubuntu specific), but it seems to be much more a feature.

What the developers said:

"This is intentional, because creating a preview for a video file some GB large is not more expensive than creating one for a 1MB video. This is also true for e.g. PDF files, but not for e.g. pictures, which is why we have that preference."

Then they should rename that 'feature'. 'Other Previewable Files' is misleading then. They should simply say 'Images', so that it's clear for users that only previews for images can be limited. Strangely though it's inconsistent. Because if it is set to 'Show Thumbnails: Never', it won't generate thumbnails for video files anymore either. Obviously developers at Nautilus have some problem with logic.


This is specially terrible when you have video files on cameras. Nautilus simply hangs while, I believe, waiting for the entire video to be read from a slow USB connection. I have to actually disble thumbnail generation before I plug-in my camera if I have made any videos with it.

I don't think it's a feature when a software halts execution.

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