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Replace older grainy thumbnails in Finder Desktop
It seems that older photos retain their tiny, pixelated, thumbnails. They are not very helpful in Cover Flow view.

Here is the easy way to improve this:

Choose cover flow view so that you can pick out the low resolution thumbs. Order the list by date, putting the older, pixelated ones at the bottom. Select only the pixelated images. (This trick will not work if any of the files have a higher resolution thumbnail. I'm not sure why.)

Choose Inspector (Command+Option+I) and select the multiple thumbnail icon in the upper left hand corner, just left of the number of items.

Press Delete. All the thumbnails will now be regenerated at normal resolution.

It's possible this hint has been posted earlier. I did a quick search and didn't see anything.

[crarko adds: I did a quick search and didn't find anything either. I didn't have any of the low resolution thumbnails on the images on my MacBook to try this.]
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Replace older grainy thumbnails in Finder
Authored by: dd0723 on May 10, '11 09:59:02AM

"Choose cover flow view so that you can pick out the low resolution thumbs"..... where? it's not clear in the tip "WHAT" needs to be in cover flow view? is it a folder? what folder? is it in iTunes???? what?

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Replace older grainy thumbnails in Finder
Authored by: RobertBen on May 15, '11 03:21:16PM

I'll give you a hint: it's in the title of the hint...

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Replace older grainy thumbnails in Finder
Authored by: halberstadt on May 10, '11 11:30:39AM

When I tried this, it did replace the old low resolution thumbnails with higher resolution ones in cover flow view, but in "icon view" all the modified thumbnails now show as generic icons with a "JPEG" label. Bummer.

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Problem for aliases though
Authored by: Ronald Lanham on May 10, '11 02:59:36PM

The problem though is that when it is done this way (rather than using Photoshop to open and save the image to recreate the thumbnail)... any aliases created from one of these pseudo-thumbnails will display NO thumbnail... not even a low-res version.
I work professionally with tens-of-thousands of images and very often I make aliases so this is very important for me. If you never have to make aliases of images... this way will work fine.

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Replace older grainy thumbnails in Finder
Authored by: n6ac on May 10, '11 04:23:58PM

Wow - Thanks very much, that works! I have several times in the past, tried to find out how to do this.
Now - Can someone come up with an AppleScript to safely do this for a group of nested folders? Perhaps the hard part is that some photos refuse the treatment, for themselves and their fellow folder-dwellers.

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If you get generic icons
Authored by: bluecat on May 11, '11 03:18:35PM

If you have gotten generic icons,
n the Finder, use CMD-J (View > Show View Options) and click on "Show icon preview".

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Replace older grainy thumbnails in Finder
Authored by: Makosuke on May 11, '11 03:21:22PM

It's probably useful to understand exactly what's happening in this situation. What's happening is that the low-res thumbnail images were created/modified by an older app that generated a low-resolution finder icon and applied it to the image.

If an image has NO custom icon, the Finder will generate one on the fly, which will look good at high resolutions (of course). If the image was saved by an app that creates a high-resolution custom icon (or a high-res preview image), then the Finder will use (in most cases) that image (this also applies to aliases, as described by another commenter). But if it has an old, low-res custom icon (generated by a Classic app, most likely), the Finder will use that, and it looks bad.

The hint is just describing how to batch-remove all custom icons from a bunch of image files, which leaves the Finder to generate new ones on the fly. The problem is that in some situations (such as aliases), the Finder won't bother to generate an on-the-fly preview, so you end up with a generic image icon. I, personally, prefer this behavior; since I mostly do web work, I like my images with the least embedded metadata possible (which is to say no custom icon, etc).

But others with different workflows may have serious issues with this (for example, if you rely on aliases, which won't get previews generated on the fly, but do inherit custom icons); what they need to do is find a method to batch-update the custom icons, rather than just removing them. I don't personally know of any app that will do this, but wouldn't be surprised if one exists.

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