Please bring back the editing of changing thumbnails in files

Hello everyone,

I am writing this new topic because when updating to Fedora 40 with Gnome 46 I got the unpleasant surprise that you can no longer change the thumbnails of the files, it only leaves the folders now. At first I thought it was some kind of error, but searching the internet to find the solution, I read that it is a feature that is no longer available in Gnome 46. In my humble opinion, I think it was a feature that I use a lot and it allows me to customize the files to my liking and I know that many more people used it. I don’t know why it was removed, but I hope it comes back in the future, since the small details make you stand out from the rest in a positive way.

Thanks for reading me


Hi. Thanks for the feedback!

I’m very excited to learn more, because this is the first time I read about someone using it on regular files as opposed to folders. I’ve tried to ask around before but didn’t reach anyone who used it that way.

Can you share details about the actual use cases (meaning, practical reasons) to set custom icon on regular files (not folders)?

FYI, there were two people who asked about the removal of the feature. One on Matrix, and one in the issue tracker.

The one about symbolic links? In that case the ideal solution is to automatically pick the target’s thumbnail instead.

Hi Antonio,

I’m glad to have this conversation and be able to share experiences.

First, I’m sorry if you asked and I didn’t answer, the reason is that I didn’t know this type of media and that users were asked, which seems positive to me. The problem is that I think many users who use Gnome, including myself, are unaware of this. Searching the internet about why you could no longer change the icons to the files is how I got here.

The use I give it to change the icon of files is mainly in movies and games, for music I use MusizBrains Picard.
In movies I use it to put the corresponding cover, I like it better than having to create a folder and put the cover and the file inside, it looks cleaner.
Regarding games, the same thing, especially in emulators, I create a folder, I put the icon of the console to which it belongs and within the games, in each file I put its respective cover.

I had many files configured like this, and now it doesn’t appear, the truth is that it seemed like a very useful feature, at least for me, in terms of customization.

Excuse my English, it’s not very good.

Thank you for reading.

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Thanks for the interesting use cases!


Similarly to how you can embed cover art into music files using MusicBrainz Picard, it’s possible to do the same for video files. This way you don’t have to keep the picture file around.

I’ve successfully set a cover art for a video using the following tool:

Unfortunately it doesn’t integrate well with GNOME and is not distributed as a flatpak.

Emulator games

There are thumbnailer programs you can install which will automatically give them a thumbnail based on the game cover/icon embedded in the file.

For Nintento DS ROM files there is: GitHub - MateusRodCosta/bign-handheld-thumbnailer: A thumbnailer for Nintendo handheld systems (Nintendo DS and 3DS) roms and files

There is one which claims to support other types, but I have not tested it: GitHub - GerbilSoft/rom-properties: ROM Properties Page shell extension

Unfortunately, for older consoles there is no icon embedded in the ROM file. In my opinion, this niche use case alone is not be enough reason to bring back the feature, but I may change my opinion if more use cases are found.

As a workaround, you can still set the custom thumbnail on the command line. Example:

gio set ~/Videos/my_movie.mp4 metadata::custom-icon file:///home/antonio/Images/my_movie_poster.jpg

I’m aware this is not a good replacement for the removed feature. Just sharing it in hope it’s useful.

Thank you very much for the help, I will try your recommendations, but as you very well say, it does not replace the simplicity that was done before, I hope it returns in the future, still, thank you very much.


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