The mysterious case of the missing thumbails


I use VLC as my default media player, in Windows 7, and I have all of my video files (extensions) associated with VLC. However, I found that some downloaded video files kept the generic VLC icon whilst others correctly showed a thumbnail of the video poster frame.

No thumbnail icons for .mp4 nor .flv files
No thumbnail icons for .mp4 nor .flv files

In the process I ended up with some nasty spyware called “Browser Security” being installed, which closes Chrome, makes you lose your tabs that you had open and replaces them with’s webpage!!! About 15 other pieces of malware were also left strewn about my Home Directory


After playing with the Files and Folders options ensuring that both “Always shows icons, never thumbnails” and “Display file icon on thumbnails” were unchecked:

Folder and Search options dialog
Folder and Search options dialog

and checking this setting in the Performance dialog, My Computer -> RightClick -> Properties ->Advanced System Settings

System Properties dialog
System Properties dialog

and ensuring blah was checked

After some googling, and watching some explanatory videos (1 and 2), it seemed as if Icaros was required. However, I was reluctant to install a shareware app.

Some further searching, showed that the most accepted way of fixing this issue, is by installing K-Lite. If the correct settings are selected upon install, then the thumbnails should be automatically generated.


Get the K-Lite Codec pack. The basic package will suffice. Download K-Lite Codec Pack Basic.

  1. Double click “K-Lite_Codec_Pack_1250_Basic.exe”
  2. Accept the usual Windows permissions dialogs
  3. Select Advanced Installation [hit Next]1
  4. Preferred video player: VLC [hit Next]2
  5. Accept the default selections [hit Next]3
  6. I selected [Thumbnails] Hide video reel and filetypeicon overlays [hit Next]4
  7. Proffered Language – Leave as default  [hit Next]5
  8. File associations – Leave as default  [hit Next]6
  9. Audio Configuration – Leave as default  [hit Next]7
  10. Hit Accept8
  11. Hit Install9


After that has completed, you should now have thumbnails on all of your video files.

Note that there is an issue with 64 bit Windows, and you must install the 64 bit version of the K-Lite pack.

Once your video files have the required thumbnails, you may now uninstall the K-Lite pack, via the Programs and Features control panel.


However, I noticed that upon install Chrome would quit and a very dubious “Browser Security” package had been installed, from Vondos Media GmbH:

Dubious application installed with K-Lite codec pack
Dubious application installed with K-Lite codec pack

I immediately uninstalled this application, and ran Malwarebytes to check for anything else nasty that had been left on the system. There were about another 9 pieces of malware lurking in the App Data/Local directory, which could be attributed to this unwanted installation:

Malware installed by K-Lite codec pack
Malware installed by K-Lite codec pack

Ironically, this is, exactly, why I didn’t want to install the Icaros application, for fear of the same sort of thing happening.



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