File Explorer add-ons utility


Enabling the preview handlers will override other preview handlers already installed - there have been reports of incompatibility between Outlook and the PDF Preview Handler.

Preview Pane previewers

Preview Pane is an existing feature in the Windows File Explorer which allows you to see a preview of the file's contents in the view's reading pane. PowerToys adds multiple extensions: Markdown, SVG, PDF, and G-code. In addition to those, PowerToys also adds support for source code files for more than 150 file extensions.

Preview Pane supports:

  • SVG icons (.svg)
  • Markdown files (.md)
  • Source code files (.cs, .cpp, .rs, ...)
  • PDF files (.pdf)
  • G-code files (.gcode)

Settings for Source code files previewer

Expand the Source code files (Monaco) section to change the following settings.

Setting Description
Wrap text Enable or disable word wrapping.
Try to format the source for preview Enable or disable formatting of the source code for json and xml files.
The original file stays unchanged.
Maximum file size to preview Maximum file size in kilobytes to preview.

Enabling Preview Pane support

To enable preview support, set the extension to On.

PowerToys Settings Enable File Explorer screenshot.

If the preview pane does not appear to work after setting the extension to On, there is an advanced setting in Windows that may be blocking the preview handler. Open the Options menu in Windows File Explorer and select the View tab. Under the View tab, you will see a list of Advanced settings. Ensure that Show preview handlers in preview pane has a check next to it in order for the preview pane to display.

Enabling the Explorer pane in Windows 11

Open Windows File Explorer, select the View menu in the Explorer ribbon. Hover over Show, and then select Preview pane.

PowerToys Preview Pane demo for Windows 11.

Enabling the Explorer pane in Windows 10

Open Windows File Explorer, select the View tab in the Explorer ribbon, and then select Preview Pane.

PowerToys Preview Pane demo for Windows 10.


It is not possible to change the background color of the preview pane, so if you are working with transparent images with white shapes, you may not be able to see them in the preview.

Thumbnail Previews

To enable thumbnail preview support, set the extension to On.

Thumbnail preview supports:

  • SVG icons (.svg)
  • PDF files (.pdf)
  • G-code files (.gcode)
  • STL files (.stl)


A reboot may be required after enabling the thumbnail previewer for the settings to take effect. Thumbnails might not appear on paths managed by cloud storage solutions like OneDrive, since these solutions may get their thumbnails from the cloud instead of generating them locally.

Settings for Stereolithography (.stl) files

Expand the Stereolithography section to change the background color.