Fix Missing Icons & Thumbnails When They Disappear in Linux

5:11 PM

Fix Missing Icons & Thumbnails When They Disappear in Linux

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Today I noticed that a large number of thumbnails, as well as icons, were missing in my installation of Kubuntu. I tried doing a Google search on the topic. Not only was there a severe lack of articles on the issue, but they all featured rather extensive work in Terminal. I decided to see if that was really required, or if simply clearing the thumbnail and icon caches would do. The answer: yup, that fixed it, and I have a feeling this would fix a lot of cases of missing icons and disappearing thumbnails.

How To Fix Missing Icons & Thumbnails Disappearing In Linux

The fix is as simple as this:

  • sudo apt install bleachbit
  • This installs a junk cleaner for Linux systems. If you don't have BleachBit installed already, it is a pretty vital tool for Linux desktop systems. I would highly recommend getting it fixed. 

Open BleachBit, and at least select the following options:

  • DeepScan > temporary files, thumbs.db
  • System > broken desktop files, cache, temporary files
  • Thumbnails

Click the trash can icon to start deleting these junk files. This may take a while, so be patient. If your desktop manager just so happens to disappear, continue to allow BleachBit to finish, then simply restart your computer.

When it finishes, restart your computer, and your icons and thumbnails should reappear now.

Why Missing Icons & Thumbnails Disappear In Linux

The catch with this is that there is a minimal cache for icon images and thumbnails. When you download a large chunk of files, and/or keep swapping desktop manager themes or icon sets, these caches can become bogged down. It results in the bad behavior you see now. Half the system icons and file thumbnails will disappear, never to return again until you clean out their caches and reload.

This advice works for any Linux system with any desktop environment as far as I know, as long as they have BleachBit in their repositories. Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, MX Linux, Manjaro, Arch, KDE, Gnome, etc. So please... at least give this a shot before you start trying other things such as editing system files and issuing terminal commands. Take the path of least possible resistance.

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