I’m jealous: my buddy has a Mac and when he downloads pictures from his camera onto his computer, they all end up with nifty little preview icons that make it easy to pick out which pictures to view. When I download pictures onto my Mac, however, I get these stupid generic “JPEG” icons instead. What’s wrong and how do I fix it?
This is a bit of a mystery to me too, I have to admit. Sometimes Mac OS X seems to automatically generate preview thumbnail icons for images, but other times there’s no preview associated with a given file so you get the generic icon instead.
Fortunately, it’s really easy to update a generic JPEG icon to be a preview image instead using the splendid GraphicConverter program that’s probably already on your computer. If not, download a copy. It’s a superb piece of shareware, well worth the registration fee, and I’ve been using it daily for years.
With GraphicConverter installed on your Mac, here’s how you fix a given folder. First off, start out with a folder that either has no preview icons, or has a mix of some previews, some not. Here’s the one I’ll use:
In GraphicConvert, choose File –> Convert & Modify… to get here:
On the very top, make sure you’ve selected Create Icon/Preview , as shown, then on the left pick the specific folder you want to fix or, if you have a lot of icons to build, pick a parent folder (like “Pictures”) and let it build icons for every photograph in any subfolder at that point:
Once you have the correct folder or parent folder selected, click on the Go button on the very top (do not click on any of the buttons on the bottom of this dialog window, however!). In just a few seconds, the icons you desire will be automatically created for every photograph and graphic file in the area you specified.
That’s all there is to it! Now when I look at that same folder in the Finder it’s much nicer:
Hope that’ll help you fix things. If someone has the scoop on how to have Image Capture or any other app automatically create preview icons, please do add a comment so we’ll all know.