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?

2 Answers 2


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.

  • would hidden files or files in a hidden folder be indexed?
    – Allan
    Mar 8, 2011 at 16:01
  • 2
    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, 2011 at 9:31
  • looks like a Ubuntu brainstorm/ Launchpad feature request :( thanks for the info though
    – Allan
    Mar 13, 2011 at 22:02

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

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