Fix File Explorer Not Refreshing Error in Windows 10 or 8.1


Windows 10 has File Explorer to manage files and folders.

Deleting, Saving and Adding new files to a drive or files should reflect in the explorer window.

But, due to some problem the file explorer will not refresh and the contents are the same.

The cause can vary based on your current Windows 10 version and updates.

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This silly error can be fixed, by right-clicking the content box and select “Refresh“.

But this is tiresome, as it takes couple of clicks to update the content in the folder or drive.

According to the design of Windows interface, the File Explorer content window should refresh automatically.

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What is the Cause of File Explorer Stopped Refreshing?

This can happen if you connect to LAN or network in your office. The network folders are listed in your Quick Access item type, whenever the other computer is online.

But if the computer or network that contains files, folders, images, videos, documents etc, goes offline, Windows 10 doesn’t recognize the fact that they are not accessible.

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File Explorer in Windows 10 seems to be checking these network folders forever.

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This can break Explorer’s capability to automatically refresh whenever you save, delete, update content in your local drive, folders and files.

Solution to File Explorer Refresh Not Working Error

You have to delete some cache files to make refresh work in File Explorer again.

1. Press Win + R to open the Run dialog.
2. Enter the following path.

%AppData%\Microsoft\windows\recent\automaticdestinations

3. Delete all the files in that folder.
4. Next, enter this path.

%AppData%\Microsoft\windows\recent\customdestinations

5. Delete these files also completely.
6. Restart your PC.

This should remove your File Explorer Refresh error.

Note:

If after the 1909 update, you cannot see the above locations, you can make “hidden items” visible in File Explorer and delete them. Otherwise, you can make use of third party app like (Locate32) to find the above folder in Windows 10. Then do the necessary.

Solution #2

This fix can work for some of the latest updates of Windows 10. You just have to delete the File Explorer cache using some third-party software app.

I generally use CCleaner to clean my junk and temporary files from time to time. This is a free software provided for Windows.

The latest version as of Dec 2019 is 5.63.7540 (64bit). The “Easy Clean” option is the default method to clean the basic junk files. If you want to clean deep, you can use the “Custom Clean” option.

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On the left hand side, there are several options to clean for Windows Explorer. (Yes, it is still listed as it is in Windows 10 also).

1. Recent Documents
2. Run (in Start Menu) – Default
3. Other Explorer MRUs
4. Thumbnail Cache – Default
5. Taskbar Jump Lists – Default
6. Network Passwords

Try to clean the registry also using the same tool. Then restart the PC. Now check if the File Explorer Refresh error is gone or not.

Solution #3 – Update to the latest 1909 Version

I somehow faced this issue in the 1903 version. But after updating to the latest version of Nov, 2019 update, the problem was resolved.

I might have accidentally removed the junk or cache folders. Though the reason is unknown, my problem seems to be gone after 1909 update.

So after applying the solution(2), you can try updating your Windows 10 to the latest Nov. 2019 update. This should fix any errors related to File Explorer.

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