I want to be able to enable (or even better enable and disable at will) image previews (thumbnails) in Pantheon Files.
In dconf Editor in org-gnome-desktop-thumbnailers nothing is desabled.
PCManFM and Thunar both have them.
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If tumbler is enabled then you should get thumbnails when viewing local folders (try pressing refresh if not - if still not then try restarting the tumblerd process using gnome-system-monitor or the commandline).
There is a dconf setting that turns on thumbnailing of remote folders. If you have a recent version then right clicking on a remote folder background should give you a option to turn this on or off.