I’m sure everyone using Windows XP has seen a small file in some directories called thumbs.db. This file is a cache of the thumbnail pictures in a directory. It speeds up the showing of thumbnails when you are viewing a folder in Thumbnail view.
The only drawback of the thumbs.db file is that it takes up disk space. Although this space is very small in most cases, if you have a lot of thumbs.db files littering your hard drive you may be able to save some valuable space by removing them. Follow the steps below to turn off the creation of this file and delete the thumbs.db files that are on your hard drive.
To turn this feature off, do the following:
1) Open My Computer
2) Click on Tools
3) Click on Folder Options
4) Click on the View Tab
5) Place a check in the option “Do not cache thumbnails”
6) Click Ok
7) Close My Computer
Now follow the next steps to remove the thumbs.db files from your hard drive
1) Click on Start
2) Click on Search
3) Click on All Files and Folders
4) Type the following in the section called “all or part of the file name” thumbs.db
5) In the Look in box, make sure Local Hard Drives is chosen
6) Click Search
7) A long list of thumbs.db files should appear, click on Edit, Select All
8) Click on File, and choose Delete
9) Close the Search Results window
Although this tip isn’t for everyone, if you are low on disk space and dont use the Thumbnail view to show your files, this may save you some valuable disk space.
Original Article: http://www.pchell.com/support/thumbsdb.shtml