.ithmb is Apple Thumbnail Image Files

File FormatApple Thumbnail Image File (ITHMB)
PurposeStores thumbnail previews of images for efficient browsing on Apple devices
CharacteristicsProprietary format, contains multiple thumbnail images of different sizes
OpeningRequires dedicated ITHMB viewers like Ithmb Viewer (Windows) or iThumb Viewer (macOS)
EditingNot intended for direct editing; work with original image files instead
ConversionITHMB converters can extract thumbnail data and convert it to common formats like JPEG or PNG
Viewing on PCITHMB viewers enable previewing on PC without an Apple device
ITHMB files, also known as Apple thumbnail image files, are commonly encountered when dealing with data transferred from Apple devices like iPhones, iPads, or iPods. These thumbnail files serve as miniature previews of larger images, allowing for quicker and more efficient image browsing on these devices. While ITHMB files are generally harmless, understanding how to manage and utilize them can be beneficial.

What are .ithmb files?

ITHMB files, also known as Apple thumbnail image files, are used by Apple devices like iPods, iPhones, and iPads to store small previews of images. These thumbnail images allow for faster and more efficient browsing of images on these devices. ITHMB files contain multiple thumbnail images of different sizes and resolutions, enabling the device to display the most appropriate thumbnail based on the available screen size and viewing context.

ITHMB files are typically created automatically when an image is transferred from a computer to an Apple device. They are stored in the device's cache directory and are not intended to be directly opened or edited by users. However, there are dedicated ITHMB viewers available that allow users to preview and convert these files.

Here are some key characteristics of ITHMB files:

  • Proprietary format developed by Apple
  • Contain multiple thumbnail images of different sizes
  • Used for efficient image browsing on Apple devices
  • Not intended for direct opening or editing

If you encounter ITHMB files on your computer, it is likely due to connecting an Apple device to your system. These files are typically harmless and can be safely ignored. However, if you need to view or convert ITHMB files, you can use a dedicated ITHMB viewer or converter software.

Opening ITHMB Files

Due to their proprietary nature, ITHMB files require specialized software to be opened. Dedicated ITHMB viewers, such as Ithmb Viewer for Windows or iThumb Viewer for macOS, can be used to preview these thumbnails. These viewers typically display the thumbnail images in their native format without allowing direct editing.

Editing ITHMB Files

Given their specialized purpose, ITHMB files are not intended for direct editing. Their format and structure are optimized for efficient thumbnail rendering rather than detailed image manipulation. While some specialized tools may exist for editing ITHMB files, it's generally recommended to work with the original source images instead.

Converting ITHMB Files to Other Formats

Converting ITHMB files to more widely used image formats, such as JPEG or PNG, can be achieved using dedicated conversion software, such as: iThmb Converter, ImageZipper, Ultra File Opener, ITHMB Unpacker, ITHMB Extractor.

ITHMB converters extract the thumbnail image data from the ITHMB file and convert it into the desired format, allowing for compatibility with a broader range of applications and devices.

Viewing ITHMB Files on a PC

ITHMB files can be viewed on a PC using dedicated ITHMB viewers, similar to opening them. These viewers enable users to preview the thumbnail images without the need for an Apple device. However, it's important to note that ITHMB files are primarily intended for Apple devices, and their viewing experience on a PC may not be as seamless.

Preventing ITHMB File Creation

ITHMB files are automatically generated when transferring images from a computer to an Apple device. To prevent ITHMB file creation, users can manually import the original image files into the device's photo library, bypassing the automatic thumbnail generation process.

Troubleshooting ITHMB File Corruption

ITHMB files may occasionally become corrupted, leading to issues with previewing or converting them. In such cases, attempting to repair the corrupted ITHMB files may not always be feasible due to their proprietary nature. It's generally recommended to rely on the original image files for any critical tasks and discard any corrupted ITHMB files.


ITHMB files play a specific role in the image management system of Apple devices. Understanding their purpose and limitations can help users effectively manage and utilize these thumbnail files. While dedicated ITHMB viewers and converters can be helpful in specific situations, working with the original image files is often the most viable approach for editing or sharing images.


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