I was using microSD Management on my New 3DS XL, to take a look at some of the pictures on the card (specifically, the Guild Card and QR code for Etrian Odyssey IV, which are stored in a separate folder, distinct from the DCIM and Nintendo 3DS system folders), when I realised that I had forgotten to disable thumbnail caching first; sure enough, there was a shiny new Thumbs.db in the folder.

Now, the game didn't even notice the file (presumably, the game doesn't actually use the folder during operation, but just uses it to output data in a format easy for the average user to access, if you tell it to generate a QR code & save it to the card), and I got rid of it anyways (I renamed the old folder, had the game generate a new QR code & folder, and then deleted the old folder after disabling caching and verifying that the new one was created successfully), but it raised a question for me:

Can there be any detrimental effects to the New 3DS XL itself, or the 3DS family in general, from leaving Windows' automatically-generated thumbnail cache file, Thumbs.db, in folders on the (micro)SD card?

1 Answer 1


This file is created in Windows when you have the "Show Hidden Files and Folders" option selected in the File explorer. What this does is it stores graphics, movie, and some document files then generates a preview of the folder contents using a thumbnail cache, so that folder content doesn't need to be recalculated every time the folder is viewed.

These can be deleted without issue, and are completely irrelevant to the 3DS.

You can also disable this if you wish, to stop it from being generated, to save space.

  • I know what the file is, what it does, and how to prevent it from being generated, I just wasn't sure if it would cause any issues for the 3DS family's OS. May 11, 2017 at 0:20
  • 3
    "This file is created in Windows when you have the "Show Hidden Files and Folders"" isn't it created regardless of the setting for hidden files?
    – Memor-X
    May 11, 2017 at 0:21
  • 1
    @JustinTime Yeah, it has no relevance to the games or the OS at all, since it is only relevant to windows
    – Ben
    May 11, 2017 at 0:21
  • @Memor-X I don't believe so. Either way, I'm not sure that's relevant in this particular case anyway
    – Ben
    May 11, 2017 at 0:24
  • @Memor-X For XP or earlier, you actually want the "Do not cache thumbnails" setting. For Vista or later, local caches are in a different location, but remote caches are still stored in the remote folder with the actual files; you need to edit the registry or use the Group Policy Editor to disable them. And yeah, it's not actually relevant to this specific question. May 11, 2017 at 0:42

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .