Desktop Keeps Refreshing on Windows 10/11 (Why & How to Fix)

Larissa updated on Mar 15, 2024 | Home >Computer Instruction

User Case: Windows 10 Desktop Keeps Refreshing

"I'm trying to do my school work on my computer, but the desktop keeps refreshing. I can't start any applications on my computer. What could cause this, and how can I fix it?"

If you're also experiencing the "desktop keep refreshing" problem, we've come to your help. This article will analyze the issue in detail and outline possible fixes to the problem. If your "Windows 10 keep refreshing," it's impossible to proceed with any activity on your device. This issue could happen for several reasons, including the following:

  • *️⃣Corrupt system files.
  • *️⃣Malware/virus attacks.
  • *️⃣Outdated graphic drivers.
  • *️⃣Software conflicts.
  • *️⃣Accumulation of cache files.

Fixes to Solve Desktop Keeps Refreshing on Windows 11/10

We'll discuss nine fixes you can apply to address this problem. There are many ways to fix the "desktop keep refreshing" problem. This section will discuss nine fixes.

Fix 1. Check the CPU Use Condition

Your desktop may keep refreshing because an application uses a large section of your CPU memory. You can try checking out the background processes on your computer and end those you think aren't necessary. To check the CPU use condition on your PC, follow these steps:

Step 1. Open Task Manager.

Step 2. Click "Processes" and check for those applications using a large section of your memory.

Step 3. Right-click on any unnecessary applications and select "End Task."

end task

Fix 2. Copy Icons to a Folder

Your desktop may keep refreshing frequently due to icon caches. You can resolve this by copying the icons to a folder as follows:

Step 1. Create a new folder on your desktop. Select all the desktop icons and copy them to the new folder.

Step 2. Select all the desktop icons (apart from the new folder) and right-click on them. Select "Delete."

destop icons

Step 3. Right-click a space on your desktop and choose "Refresh." Copy all the icons from your new folder and transfer them to the desktop. This will probably fix the error of "desktop keeps refreshing."

Fix 3. Update Graphics Driver

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It is always a good idea to back up Windows before any Windows update or change.

Another possible cause of the desktop refreshing problem is having outdated graphic drivers. You can try updating your graphics drivers using the following steps:

Step 1. Right-click on the Start Menu and choose "Device Manager" to open it.

Step 2. Double-click on "Display adapter" to expand it.

Step 3. Right-click the graphics driver shown here and select "Update driver."

update driver

Step 4. Next, select the "Search automatically for drivers" option. Wait for the system to search for available graphic driver updates and automatically install them on your PC.

Fix 4. Run SFC/DISM Scan

The SFC scan helps find and repair corrupt system files on your computer. If SFC doesn't fix the issue, running a DISM scan could be necessary. Follow these steps:

Step 1. Start Command Prompt, type the following command, then hit Enter:

sfc /scannow

sfc scan

Step 2. Wait for the above command to run and check/fix any issues on your computer.

Step 3. Open Command Prompt again if the problem hasn't been resolved and type the following DISM command, then press Enter:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

Step 4. The DISM command will detect and fix any errors causing your desktop to refresh frequently.

Fix 5. Disable Antivirus Software

An antivirus software on your PC could be behind the "Windows 10 keep refreshing" problem. You can try disabling the software for a while. Here's how you can temporarily disable Windows Defender on your PC:

Step 1. Open the Control Panel and click on "System and Security."

Step 2. Navigate to "Windows Defender Firewall," then select "Turn Windows Firewall on or off."

Step 3. Choose "Turn off Windows Firewall" and click OK. This will disable the antivirus for a while. You can check if the desktop problem has disappeared.

disable antivirus

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Fix 6. Clean Windows Registry

The registry maintains a record of your system and third-party app settings. Sometimes, the registry may hold entries interfering with your OS. It's best to clean the Windows registry and remove such entries. Follow the steps below:

Step 1. Type "disk cleanup" on the search bar and then hit Enter.

Step 2. Choose your system drive, then click OK.

Step 3. Navigate to the lower section and click "Clean up system files" once the Disk Cleanup window opens. Select the files you want to delete and follow the onscreen instructions. Disk Cleanup will erase all the files that have data in the registry. 

clean registry

Fix 7. Restart PC in Safe Mode

Restarting your PC in Safe Mode allows you to identify and solve the issues preventing it from working correctly. Your computer uses limited files and drivers while in Safe Mode. Below are the steps to restart the PC in Safe Mode:

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It is always a good idea to back up Windows before any Windows update or change.

Step 1. Click on the Start Menu, then press and hold the Shift key. Click the "Power" option and choose "Restart."

restart pc

Step 2. Click on "Troubleshoot" when your PC restarts and enters the "Choose an option" window.

Step 3. Click "Advanced options">"Startup Settings">"Restart."

Step 4. Select option 4 to Enable Safe Mode once your computer restarts. This will help fix the "desktop keeps refreshing" problem.

Fix 8. Perform a System Restore

It's possible for the "desktop keep refreshing" problem to happen after installing new system settings on your device. You can revert to an earlier stable version of your system to fix this issue. Check these steps:

Step 1. Type "system restore" on the search bar, then hit Enter to open it.

Step 2. Click the "System Protection" tab and select "System Restore."

system restore

Step 3. When "Restore system files and settings" shows, click "Next."

Step 4. The system will then display the available restore points. Click the one you want to use.

Step 5. Next, click the "Scan for affected programs" option to know the apps that will be affected when you restore your system. Once you've checked the apps, close the window, then click Next. Follow the onscreen steps to restore your system to the selected restore point.

system restore

Fix 9. Factory Reset Your Windows 10 Desktop

The last option is to factory reset your device if you've tried all the previous fixes, but your desktop keeps refreshing. This will erase all programs and settings and restore your PC to default. Below are the steps to factory reset Windows 10:

Step 1. Open Settings, then click on "Updates & Security."

Step 2. Navigate to the "Recover" option, then select "Get Started" under "Reset this PC."

Step 3. When the "Choose an Option" screen displays, choose "Keep my files." This option will erase all settings and apps on your device and leave your files.

reset this pc

Step 4. Follow the onscreen instructions to start resetting your PC. Once done, you can restart your device, and the "Windows 10 keep refreshing error will disappear."

Bonus: Backup Your PC to Prevent Data Loss Due to Such Issues

It's important to back up your PC using EaseUS Todo Backup to avoid losing important data when the "desktop keeps refreshing" error occurs. This backup tool offers an easier option to store and recover your files following a system failure or hardware damage.

EaseUS is a reliable backup mechanism because it allows you to save files and data to different locations, including external drives, the cloud, local drives, NAS, or the network. It offers different backup strategies, including incremental and differential backup, encrypted backup, scheduled backup, and set backup frequency.

When you want to recover your backup data, EaseUS Todo Backup allows you to do that within the shortest time possible. You can restore your data to the previous location or a new one.

The main features of EaseUS Todo Backup include:

Do you want to start enjoying these backup features provided by EaseUS Todo Backup? Download and install the software on your device today. The steps for using it are very straightforward.

The Final Words

The "desktop keep refreshing" problem could occur due to corrupt system files, malware/virus attacks, outdated graphic drivers, software conflicts, or the accumulation of cache files. To solve the problem, you'll need to address these issues. This article has outlined nine ways to solve the "Windows 10 keep refreshing problem."

It's important to back up your data using EaseUS Todo Backup to avoid losing files when encountering a desktop problem. EaseUS allows you to conveniently store and recover your files whenever your computer crashes or experiences hardware problems. Ensure you download EaseUS Todo Backup today and check out how it works.

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Below are frequently asked questions about "desktop keeps refreshing" on Windows 10/11.

1. Is It Better to Reset or Reinstall Windows 10?

It's better to perform a system reset if your computer has encountered basic problems, such as apps not functioning correctly or incorrect settings. This process lets you erase all apps and settings while keeping your files. If the issue is deep-rooted and affects your entire operating system, performing a Windows 10 re-installation is better.

2. Will Windows Refresh Remove Virus?

When resetting your PC and you select the Keep my files option, it's also known as Windows refresh. Yes, this option can remove viruses. This is because it erases all programs and settings on your computer but keeps personal files. Since most viruses affect programs and settings, refresh will remove them.

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Updated by Larissa

Larissa has rich experience in writing technical articles and is now a professional editor at EaseUS. She is good at writing articles about data recovery, disk cloning, disk partitioning, data backup, and other related knowledge. Her detailed and ultimate guides help users find effective solutions to their problems. She is fond of traveling, reading, and riding in her spare time.

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