Desktop Not Refreshing Automatically on Windows 10/11 [FIXED]

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

User Case: Desktop Not Refresh Automatically

"I am creating a new folder or file on the Desktop and giving it a name, but the new name or changes are not reflecting on the Desktop until I manually refresh it: word documents, Excel sheets, text files, and everything on the Desktop exhibit similar behavior. The same thing happens when I try to delete it. How do I fix the Windows 10 desktop not refreshing automatically?"

Whenever you change anything on the Desktop, it refreshes automatically and reflects all the changes. But what if the Desktop does not refresh on Windows 10? This can lead to issues for the user. Let us see why it happens and how we can fix the Desktop not refreshing automatically on Windows.

Many factors can cause your Desktop not to refresh automatically. Here are some common ones:

  • *️⃣Corrupt Explorer.exe files: The Desktop is managed by the Explorer.exe files. If the process or files are corrupted, the desktop functions become unresponsive and fail to refresh.
  • *️⃣File Explorer settings and cluttered file history.
  • *️⃣Third-party software interference: If you have installed any third-party apps, especially for system optimization or customization, they will interfere with normal apps to modify system settings.
  • *️⃣OneDrive problems: The conflict of OneDrive sync with the Desktop apps makes the auto-refresh unavailable.

Fixes to Slove Desktop/Folder/Explorer Not Refresh Properly

If the desktop automatic refresh is not working properly, you must manually refresh it every time you update or delete it. Let's look at some fixes to resolve the Windows 10 desktop not refreshing automatically.

EaseUS Todo Backup

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

Fix 1. Clear File Explore History and Restore to Default

If the issue erupts due to explorer.exe, we can clear the file history and restore the settings to default to see if the Desktop refreshes automatically.

Step 1. Press Windows + E to open File Explorer.

Step 2. Click on the three horizontal dots beside Filter to open Menu options and click Options from the drop-down.

open menu options from file explorer

Step 3. Under Privacy, check all the options and click Clear. Some Windows OS also include the Show recently used files or folders in the Quick Access option. Do check it before clearing the file explorer history.

clear and restore file explorer to defaults

Step 4. In the same window, you can see the Restore Defaults button. Click on it and close the tab to see if the Desktop refresh is working fine.

Fix 2. Perform an SFC DISM Scan

System File Checker (SFC) scans the system files for corrupt and fault files. Later, we can use the DISM command to repair the fault files (if any) to fix the Windows desktop not refreshing automatically. 

Step 1. Open Command Prompt with administrator privileges.

Step 2. Run the command below to see if there are any issues with the system files.

sfc /scannow

sfc scannow command

Step 3. If you find any issues, you can repair them using the DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) command.

Step 4. Run the DISM command below with active internet to repair the files.

DISM/Online /Cleanup-Image/restorehealth

dism scan

If the explorer.exe files are faulty, they will be fixed with these two commands. Try making changes on your Desktop to see if the issue is solved.

EaseUS Todo Backup

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

Fix 3. Restart Windows Explorer

Another way to fix the Windows desktop not refreshing automatically is to restart the Windows Explorer. You need to end all tasks from the task manager and continue the service.

Step 1. Open Task Manager on your computer.

Step 2. Open the Processes tab from the left, right-click on Windows Explorer, and tap Restart.

restart file explorer

Is the post helpful? Share it on your social platforms to help others with the same issue.


Fix 4. Unpin Network Share/Folder

If you disconnect or unpin the mapped Network Share/Folder, you may fix the "Desktop not refreshing automatically" issue.

Step 1. Open File Explorer.

Step 2. Click on This PC or Network. Right-click on the network you want to unpin and select Disconnect network drive.

unpin network share or folder

Fix 5. Reset Folder Views

You can try resetting the Folder views on Windows 11 if the Desktop not refreshing keeps troubling you.

Step 1. Open File Explorer, and click on the horizontal dots. Select Options from the drop-down and open the View section.

reset folders views

Step 2. Click on Reset Folders and check if the issue goes away.

Fix 6. Disable Third-Party Shell Extensions

Since third-party shell extensions can interfere with Microsoft, they tend to cause issues with Explorer. Microsoft does not authorize these apps. So, download ShellExView to see the apps. The manufacturer's name generally indicates them, and you have to select and disable them.

Before, end all the third-party apps' processes using Task Manager and disable them. This is a trial and error method; you have to do this until you find the culprit and delete the problematic apps.

Always Back Up Your Computer to Safeguard Your Data

It is inevitable that many computer issues may happen while using your device, whether it is old or new. The desktop not refreshing automatically is a common one that may cause data loss if you can't solve it in time. If you have many important or personal files saved on your desktop, creating a backup of them is necessary, which will help you find and restore them in any case.

EaseUS Todo Backup is a free, easy-to-use backup tool that supports files, folders, disks, system data, and even App data backup. With it enabled on your Windows computer, you no longer need to worry about losing data. You can create a system image with a few simple clicks. Whenever your desktop has an error, you can restore it to a previous normal state. It also has many advanced backup features to customize your backup plan according to your preferences.

Download and try this tool, and you won't be disappointed.

Sum Up

If the Desktop not refreshing automatically Windows 10/11, you have to do it manually. Furthermore, you will face many issues and popups while updating and deleting. This post introduces you to the six fixes to resolve the Windows 10 desktop not refreshing automatically and get the working back to normal. Check out the fixes one after the other and solve the issue.

Is the post helpful? Share it on your social platforms to help others with the same issue.


FAQs About Windows Desktop Not Refreshing Automatically

1. Is it necessary to refresh the Desktop?

Yes, refreshing the Desktop is a safe and secure way to update software and drives and free up space. It also reflects the changes to the app, folders, and content.

2. How often should you update your desktop computer?

The average lifespan of desktop computers is about 4-5 years. After that, the hardware runs slowly, and companies usually stop rolling out updates. So, it's time to update if you face lag, frequent repairs, and replacement.

Was This Page Helpful?


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.

Read full bio

Totalav antivirus software

EaseUS Data Recovery Services

Request a free evaluation >>

EaseUS data recovery experts have uneaqualed expertise to repair disks/systems and salvage data from all devices like RAID, HDD, SSD, USB, etc.