Command Line Options


ThumbsPlus has several command line options that are useful for troubleshooting, logging, and special functions. For some kinds of problems, it's very helpful for us to have logs of what the program is doing, both during startup, shutdown, and around the time that a problem occurs. Also, you can specify a database on the command line, you can configure Windows Explorer to open ThumbsPlus when you double-click or pick Open With from the Explorer context menu.

Command Line Files

If you specify a database name on the command line, ThumbsPlus will open that particular database (so if you prefer multiple databases, you can create Windows shortcuts (.lnk files) that open specific ones.

If you specify a folder name on the command line, ThumbsPlus will open that folder in the Thumbnail View.

If you specify a file name on the command line, ThumbsPlus will open that file. If ThumbsPlus is already running, it will open the file rather than running a new copy of ThumbsPlus. If you tend to use ThumbsPlus this way, I recommend enabling the option to Minimize startup progress display in Options - Preferences -Startup . This speeds up startup a bit, especially when you configure Windows to use ThumbsPlus to open files (Options - Preferences - File Types).

Specifying Command Line Options

The ThumbsPlus command line can be specified in a couple of ways:

1.You can edit the shortcut (on the desktop, program menu, or quick launch menu) to specify the options you desire. This screen shot shows how to specify an option for a shortcut.
2.You can run ThumbsPlus from a command prompt ("DOS box") to specify options.
3.The installer creates several shortcuts with common command line options.

Unfortunately, because of limitations in Windows, a shortcut pinned to the taskbar or Start menu on Windows 7 cannot be edited directly; instead you have to modify a regular shortcut and then pin that.

The following options control logging. ThumbsPlus can log the operations that occur during program startup and shutdown. It also logs any error messages that occur, and any system problems that it recognizes.




Writes startup, shutdown and error messages sto ThumbsPlus.log, which is stored in your application data folder. In the event that ThumbsPlus cannot write to this folder, it stores the log in the current %TEMP% folder. The actual folder name depends on what version of Windows you are running.


Verbose: writes additional information into the log file.


Very verbose: even more things are written, specifically things that have caused problems in the past. Except in unusual circumstances, this option is not usually particularly useful.


Disables logging even if enabled in  Options   Preferences   Startup .


ThumbsPlus installs a "first-chance" exception handler and can log exceptions even if they are handled at a higher level or by a library. This option will cause ThumbsPlus to write the current stack for first-chance exceptions, which can shed light on particularly singular problems.  Usually it's just extra noise in the log, but sometimes it can help track down difficult issues.


Start ThumbsPlus in safe mode. This enables -log, -verbose, -notwain, and disables loading movie file types (which, because of third-party codecs, often cause crashes that are very difficult to trace.


Causes ThumbsPlus to start minimized and wait for DDE commands from other programs or the Windows shell (Explorer).


Rather than trapping and logging exceptions, ThumbsPlus will allow normal Windows behavior when it crashes.


Prevents ThumbsPlus from loading registration information. We use this internally for testing. There really isn't much other reason to use it.


When ThumbsPlus starts up, it will immediately attempt to compact and repair the current (default) database. This is very useful if the database is damaged and preventing ThumbsPlus from starting normally.

If you need to repair a specific database, you can modify the command line to include the complete path to the database, within quotes; i.e.:

"D:\Programs\Thumbs8\Thumbs8.exe" -repair "C:\ProgramData\ThumbsPlus\Thumbs.tpdb8"



The quotes are necessary around either file name (the program path or the database path) if it contains spaces.


Enables -logging, -verbose, and -excstack.


Causes ThumbsPlus to monitor when threads stop and start, including threads started from DirectShow (movies and sound). This can help us diagnose problems with codecs.