Playlists have no cores and no thumbnails

RetroArch isn’t working for me on Windows 10.

Last time I used it I was on Windows 7. I still have the old install files on a back-up drive but I did a clean new install of RetroArch on my Windows 10 PC and copied over all my game ROMs. In Desktop Menu I created new Playlists for NES, SNES, Arcade, Playstation, all the Sega’s etc and associated them all with the right Cores and Databases (apart from one of them, which doesn’t appear to have a database in the available list). Then I downloaded thumbnails for them all. So far this has taken me a few days. First having to transfer tens of thousands of ROM files from one old PC to another over private WiFi network, then downloading all the thumbnails.

In RetroArch proper all my systems have the same generic icon, with lists of games but all the systems say “1.9.14 No Core” and there are no thumbnails. When I checked the thumbnails folder only one system had downloaded images, despite spending my entire Tuesday downloading thumbnails!

So, I went back to my old back-up data and copied over all my exiting thumbnails, another wasted several hours. Back into RetroArch, still no cores for anything and still no thumbnails, yet in Desktop Menu view they ALL have associated Cores.

Does RetroArch not work with Windows 10 or something? It worked perfectly fine under Windows 7 and I didn’t have any problems at all with it.

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May be a silly question, since you said you associated the roms, but did you download any cores? It wasn’t specifically mentioned in your steps.

Never said I associated ROMs but I did say I associated the cores. Twice. But I’ll forgive you for not noticing since I did waffle on quite a bit. All systems have associated cores, downloaded and confirmed in the Show Desktop Menu for each Playlist (system).

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I don’t have a lot of experience with setting up playlists and thumbnails, but I can assure you that Retorarch works on Windows 10. Have you tried manually loading content?

I’m trying that now, using the Scan Directory option. So far it has succcessfully added Atari 2600, Gameboy, N64, NES and Playstation - including the thumbnails. However, two problems:

  1. While it scans my Arcade folder it doesn’t add Arcade to the playlists so I can’t run any of those ROMs.
  2. When I load a ROM I have to select whic core to load it with. Back in the Desktop Menu if I assign any of the playlists to a core it immediately removes it and replaces it with “Ask Me” instead. Clearly the Desktop Menu is broken.

Still got many other consoles to add so I don’t know if any more will fail to add.


And I should point out the only reason I have thumbnails now is because I copied over the ones from my back-up drive directly into the RetroArch\Thumbnails folder, since it won’t add them itself.

Going to assume this is a bug and forget the arcade ROMs and move on.

There are numerous threads that say scanning Arcade ROMs needs to be done differently than normal romsets. Manual vs automatic??? :man_shrugging:

Although I might agree that this meets the definition of a “bug”, I would search the forums a bit before you give up.

Glad you’re making progress.

Regarding arcade roms, had this issue myself. Have never used the desktop mode, so not sure about that. Running automatic scans seems to pickup different games for different cores (2003, 2010, etc). Having run a manual scan with the appropriate DAT (Mame or FBNeo) this detected mostly all roms.


I need a new set of arcade ROMs. The ones I have are from sometime ago in a folder called FBA… anyway, I’m going to try MAME ROMs instead.

The thumbnail issue I’ve worked out to be just a file naming problem. In the other core thumbnails some images appear and others don’t and it’s because file name contain spaces were there shouldn’t be any or & is replaced with _ for example. I don’t have the time or the patience to rename them all - there are far too many ROMs it would take months! And that’s just the box art, let alone screenshots and titles.

Some I did rename and they worked, such as “Acid Drop (Europe)” is the name of the ROM but the thumbnail is “Acid Drop (USA)”. Some don’t work after renaming for some reason. I tried renaming the ROM and the thumbnail but this didn’t work either. In RetroArch the name of the game isn’t displayed the same as the ROM file name or the thumbnail. Anyway, too much work so not gonna even try!