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Thumbcache Viewer 1.0.2.7

Find deleted images in Explorer's thumbnail cache

by Mike Williams

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License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8, Windows Server, Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit)
Requirements:
Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 01 September 2014
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 834
Developer: Eric Kutcher
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Thumbcache Viewer 1.0.2.7
Find deleted images in Explorer's thumbnail cache

Tell Explorer to display a folder in thumbnail view and it begins to generate thumbnails for every supported file. These are then saved in various thumbnail caches, thumbcache_*.db and iconcache_*.db, so that they don't have to be created again.

What's interesting about these thumbnails is that they can live on for quite some time, even if you delete the source files. And so if you've accidentally deleted some important images yourself - or want to see what another user has been viewing - then browsing the cache may reveal all.

Thumbcache Viewer is a tiny portable tool (53KB) which can display the contents of any thumbcache_*.db and iconcache_*.db file. Just launch it, click File > Open and choose your preferred cache to view its details in a table. (Start by looking for the largest thumbcache*.db files in \Users\<UserName>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows.)

The table is horribly cryptic, packed with low-level details, checksums, hashes and more. It doesn't even list the original file name.

Fortunately, if you click an entry in the table, a separate window opens to display it. All you then really need to know is that the most recent images have the highest numbers, and are at the bottom of the table. Click on one of these, and use the cursor keys to scroll up; the preview window updates automatically to show the image, and you can save the current option - or everything in the cache - in a couple of clicks.

Verdict:

It won't find every lost image. And even if you do turn up something interesting, the resolution may be too low to be useful. But Thumbcache Viewer turned up some surprisingly old 1024x1024 thumbnails on our test PC, and it's worth keeping a copy around for emergencies.

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

Spektrel Art 1.0.0

Free Full Commercial Software

Spektrel Art is a stand-alone program and Photoshop plugin which transforms digital photos into "magical art that glimmers and gleams with intersecting lines of tapered light".

What does that mean? Essentially it applies a configurable mix of effects, enhancing edges, smoothing backgrounds and emphasizing colours. Take a look at the thumbnail for one example, and the official product page has more.

Spektral Art works much like any similar tool. Open an image, click one of the thumbnails to apply a particular preset, or click a few buttons and drag some sliders to fine-tune the results.

There's surprising scope for variation, too. For example, just switching from the "Light" to "Dark" theme can transform a bright and friendly image into something dark and sinister, at least in some cases (results vary depending on the source image).

Please note, the demo version doesn't allow images to be saved.

SPECIAL OFFER: as we write, the developer is offering Spektral Art for free. The offer expires August 29th. Please note that you must provide your name, address and phone number to receive your free license.

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