Fix: Windows folders and files not refreshing automatically

Problem: File Explorer or Desktop changes are not reflected instantly after creating, deleting, moving or renaming a file or folder.

Workaround: Manually refresh the view or press F5

Fix: In File Explorer or on the desktop, when you create, delete, rename, or move a file or folder, the folder view does not refresh automatically to reflect the action. To see the changes, the user must press the F5 button on the keyboard, or right-click on the desktop or folder background and choose Refresh.

  1. Open File Explorer
  2. Click File menu, ‘Change folder and search options’
  3. Click ‘Restore Defaults’ button

13 thoughts on “Fix: Windows folders and files not refreshing automatically

  1. I have this problem, but this solution does not work, I still have to press F5 etc.
    This is with a new install of Windows 10 but started after issues with Onedrive.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Since many people are facing this and probably land here:
    For me only files in the documents folder and some other user libraries wouldn’t properly update. I somehow thought it could be OneDrive because it is messing with the way the folders and their icons get updated – so I uninstalled it and bingo! That was causing my issue.
    For anyone else landing here via Google and the default settings trick described does not work, try it out!

    This was on Windows 10 21H2 btw.


  3. I run into the same failure and I found one other solution, which is working for me:

    Long story short: add a new key in registry which disables the DontRefresh task.


  4. “Restore Defaults” didn’t work for me. File Explorer still not Auto-Refreshing. I know it used to, but I’m not sure how long ago it was that I first noticed that the feature had quit working.


  5. Thanks to the author and the promising comments! Unfortunately, neither the “restore defaults” nor the registry key from the video nor uninstalling OneDrive helped. On my other laptop, the first step solved the issue though.


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