How to Show Excel Preview Picture When Opening Files

When you’re opening files in Excel, you can see the file Details, or the icons, or select another way to look at the list, such as Preview.

That Preview option sounds promising, but instead of a picture of the file’s contents, you usually see this message instead – Preview Not Available. And that’s not much help.

If you want to see a preview picture for an Excel file, you have to change one of the file’s Property settings – keep reading to learn how. Or watch the video at the end of this article.


Change the Excel File Settings

Every recent version of Excel has a different way of getting to its Property settings, but here are the basic steps for turning on the Preview Picture option:

  1. Open the Property dialog box
  2. Go to the Summary tab
  3. Add a check mark to the Save Preview Picture option
  4. Click OK to close the dialog box.

For details on getting to the Property settings in different versions of Excel, please go to the Excel Preview Picture page on the Contextures website.


Watch the Excel Preview Picture Video

This video shows how to change an Excel 2010 file’s settings, so you can see its Preview picture. You’ll also see tips for seeing the Excel preview pictures in Windows Explorer.