Solution For Windows Explorer Doesn’t Refresh Automatically

As a deep and continuous user of Windows 7, I usually encounter some really annoying bugs of windows explorer. The problem is that when you make changes to anything in windows explorer – make a new folder, delete a file, copy something – all these activities wont get updated until we perform a manual update. Normally windows would automatically refresh the screen when any change occured so we can see the changes instantly, but this bug prevents files and folders being updated until we refresh it by manually. Here’s some tips to overcome this problem and follow these steps one by one to see what works for you.

1. Sort By Name

let’s start with things which are easier to do. Try sorting your windows explorer/dektop files and folders  “By Name”. This is a workaround that many user had success trying this. If it doesn’t help you, move on to next.


2. Re-activate User Account Control

User account control is a Windows security measure that prevents harmful programs from making changes on the system. Many users turn this off to get rid of unwanted messages when try to execute some files. But windows refresh problem may be caused by turning odd UAC. Try Re-enable UAC by typing ” User Account Control” on the start menu and hit enter then moving the security slider to the top position.


3. Play with Registry Editor

Installation of some application mightput a registry entry to turn off the Windows desktop refresh feature. If this is the reason for your computer not to refresh automatically, you can delete this reg key. To do this, type “regedit” on start menu and open Windows registry editor. Then goto “HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID” then press F3 on your keyboard to look for a key named ” dontrefresh”. type this and search. In results, look for a DWORD value called “DontRefresh” which is set to “1” (on) normally. Simply change it to 0 and close regedit.

Also Read:  Fix Add Media/Featured Image Button Not Working in WordPress

4.  Rebuild the Explorer Icon Cache

The icon cache in Windows vista,7 etc contains thumbnails of files. If this data is corrupted, you should re-build the cache from scratch. To do this: exit all active applications in windows and press CTRL+SHIFT+ESC keys together to start Task Manager. In processes tab, look for explorer.exe – right click on the item and click ” End Process. Then click File>> New Task type “cmd” and press enter. Type in the following commands and hit enter after each line

CD /d %userprofile%\AppData\Local

DEL IconCache.db /a


5. Turn off Third-Party Shell Extensions

Shell extensions are small application extension background processes that are required for proper working of application extensions. Some third-party shell extensions may cause problems with windows explorer. You can disable these extensions temporarily to see  if any extensions causing problems. Nirsoft’s ShellExView software will help you to disable shell extensions.

Download and install the tool, sort the extensions by “Company”. It will show third-party apps at the top. Try disabling all and see if that solves the problem. If it does, turn them on one by one and sort out the villain.


Share this article:

Comments (1)

  1. The only fix that worked for me was to disable Libraries via the Registry. I recommend anyone annoyed by Windows Explorer not refreshing to pursue this option – nothing else works.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *