Purge cache. Hold down Ctrl key and start PS. You will get a reset window.
Thanks Curt Y but I have purged the cache a number of times to no avail. For some reason I dont get a 'reset window' when I do the CTRL + PS, PS simply loads up as per normal. Mini bridge also shows comes up, goes to the last folder of photos and again only shows icons. the little spinning wheel/arrow in the bottom left spins for a bit [as if its updating/creating thumbnails] then stops and again only icons appear -and out of focus no less lol.
Since problem appears to be in Bridge, you will want to try to reset Bridge preferences. Press and hold the Ctrl key while starting Bridge (not PS).
After an OS reinstall you may need to update your system's video card driver. A quick check: In Photoshop - Edit > Preferences >Performance and see if Use Graphics Processor is checked.
Other things to try: Edit Preferences > Advanced > Check Use Software Rendering; and ensure that Startup Scripts are checked (Edit Preferences > Startup Scripts).
Thanks for your reply Robet S, and thanks for all the sugestions etc. The problem seems to be resolved now due to more digging around. In windows file explorer i noticed that the image files/folders were all showing available 'online only'. all my photos are stored in the cloud. I tried an experiment and right clicked on a folder of photos and told it to make the folder and files available 'offline available'. Well this seemed to do the trick and now all image files are available in PS and Bridge.
I didnt have to do any of this the first time so not sure how the files in the cloud became 'online availble' only.
Thanks again for all your help!
I was having the same problem. Making the files "offline available" did the trick.