I am working with Google Docs. I make copies of existing documents using the option File - Make a copy.... The document gets copied and I work on the copy and change the copy. When I close it and reopen it the changes I made are applied but in the overview Docs Home the old preview stays.

When is this updated?

Is there an option to force an update?

  • Did you try to clear your browser cache and cookies or to access Google Docs on private navigation mode? Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 19:51
  • Yes, this also happens after cleaning and also in private mode.
    – Michael S.
    Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 6:26

4 Answers 4


Actually it's very simple. Here's the challenge the way I understand it. You've changed a document, most notably an image. The document updated great but the thumbnail still presents the old image.

Here's my way of fixing.

  1. Make a copy of the document. You'll then see a second thumbnail appear but this time with the new image.
  2. Delete the original document.
  3. Rename the copy.

There you have it. An updated thumb.

  • Why does the thumbnail in Docs Home matter this much? I would have thought the edit and comment histories are more important than copying and deleting the original file for this purpose.
    – ahorn
    Commented Apr 2, 2020 at 8:39

Found another way to update that doesn't require re-authoring the document. If it's in your quick-access row, right click the old thumbnail, and click "Locate". This forced an update of the thumbnail for me.


You can delete the file, then click Undo, and it will generate a new thumbnail.


If the PDF preview of a link to GDrive in a document is not updating, you can fix it like @Drew by going to the list of documents and reopening the document.

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