Photos showing as black icons


Active Member
Dec 26, 2011
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Los Angeles
Current Phone Model
Samsung GS5
This is very strange and just started a week or so ago. When I take a photo, SOME not all, show up in the gallery as in the screenshot below. I can click on it and it opens the appropriate photo but I don't understand why the black icon. Using a GS5 with 5.0 unrooted.


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Looks like it's had some trouble creating thumbnails on the photos on the sd card. If it still opens the correct picture, at least that leads me to believe that the sd card is still working properly.

I would find your folders of pictures on the sd card with either a file explorer app on your phone or connect to your PC. There should be a "Thumbnails" folder in any folder of pictures that shows in your gallery (Camera, DCIM, etc). Check those thumbnails and/or delete them. It should start to rebuild the thumbnails folders, if not right away, after a restart
I checked the sd card. There's a DCIM folder but no Thumbnail folder. And in the DCM folder there was only 3 photos. Confused. At least in windows environment, I can find anything. In this thing, nada.
If that's the case, they may be on internal storage...

Maybe they've done away with the thumbnail files. Come to think of it, I didn't see any on mine when I was poking around today.
The thumbnails are a hidden file. They are inside of the DCIM folder.

If you use ES File Explorer you can set it to show hidden files by selecting the three horizontal lines on the left hand side and then scrolling down and toggling Show Hidden Files.

You can also clear the Gallery cache as well, but I highly suggest backing up your photos, videos, etc before doing that.
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Also, if you are cloud syncing photos you can double check to make sure they are indeed syncing with whichever service you may be using.
I un-hid the hidden files and this is what's showing.

(well I tried uploading the screenshot and got this error:

"The following error occurred. The contents of the uploaded image do not match the file's extension. SD image.jpg"

Don't know what that's all about. It's just a jpg.
Try renaming it to .jpeg.
It's possible pics are corrupted after it was taken.. Do you have HDR set for pic taking..

I guess it's possible. I don't leave the HDR setting on all the time. But what effect would that have?
The thumbnails are just out of whack. You mentioned that the image itself shows fine when clicking on the black icon. That black icon is just a placeholder for the image itself so that the gallery doesn't preload hundreds of mbs of photos.

I would copy the photos over to your PC using Samsung Kies (installed on the PC). Then I would experiment with wiping the cache of the gallery app first and if that doesn't fix it I would try wiping the thumbnails.