Fix: Desktop does not refresh automatically in Windows 7 | 8

The Desktop or Explorer window or folder will automatically refresh itself when you make a change to its contents. This could be creating a new shortcut, creating or saving a new file or folder in it, and so on.

But at times, you may find that the desktop or the window may not auto-refresh and to see the changes, you have to manually Refresh it, either by pressing F5 or via the context menu.

Desktop does not refresh automatically

If you find that you need to frequently refresh the desktop, you can follow these steps to try and fix the problem.

dontrefresh 600x374 Fix: Desktop does not refresh automatically in Windows 7 | 8

Open Registry Editor and navigate to the following registry key:


Here right-click and search for dontrefresh. If you find it, and if it has a value set to 1, change its value to 0.

This is known to have helped fix the problem in most cases.

Some have found that deleting the thumbnail cache and/or rebuilding the icon cache has helped them resolve the issue.

This problem appears to be quite common – so much so that there is even an acronym made for it: WEDR – Windows Explorer Doesnt Refresh! So the BSOD now has a companion! icon smile Fix: Desktop does not refresh automatically in Windows 7 | 8

Microsoft has released some hotfixes to resolve such issues at KB960954 and KB823291. Please check IF they are applicable to your operating system and situation before you decide to download and apply them.

Check this post if you find that your Recycle Bin does not refresh correctly.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse aka HappyAndyK is an end-user Windows enthusiast, a Microsoft MVP in Windows, since 2006, and the Admin of Please create a System Restore Point before trying out any software & be careful about any third-party offers while installing freeware. Add me on Google+.
  • hkb

    The word ‘dontrefresh’ is not even in my registry.

  • hkb

    Win7 ult. 64bit…..

  • Anonymous

    where is dontrefresh ?

  • Anand Khanse

    Are you facing this problem? And still you do not find dontrefresh in your registry?

  • m041633n

    yup me too and waiting for this fix for a long time

  • Xtreme365

    Now fixed. Hi ppl, i had the same problem.
    I just go to folder option move some options , and an reset all menu by default.
    Now auto-refresh work :)

  • jeremiah

    hey evry 1 i have a problem but this 1 is deifrent let me tell u
    1st up on the desktop itself i may have click refresh to much by accident but anyways i think now all it dose is refreshes desktop and internet explorer as well for
    all the websites if any1 has any salutions let me know pls

  • Swiki

    It happened to me yesterday and I decided to restore my system to an earlier time :)

  • Avfearn

    the word dontrefresh isn’t in my regisrty either

  • Valid

    There’s no such registry key

  • Asdf


  • tralala

    Thnx dude, worked for me. I did: Organize > Folder and search options > Clicked on restore defaults button and since then it worked again :D

  • csay

    it works for me :)

  • Cipher Sru

    The registry key does not exist, this “fix” is worthless…

  • Truth101

    Here is an incredibly simple solution that worked forme. It may work for you as well:

    - In Windows Explorer: choose Tools, Folder Options > Click the Search tab
    > Check or uncheck ANY option

    - Apply.

    - If this solves your problem, you can revert to your original setting and the
    problem will remain solved.

    Microsoft obfuscates this problem by instructing you to delete your profile, update your bios, disable your antivirus, reverting to a restore point, etc. If the incredibly simple solution above helps just one person avoid the Microsoft nonsense, it is well worth the time cross-posting this solution to a few popular sites.

    Microsoft should have identified and solved this problem four years ago. This incredibly simple solution clearly demonstrates why Microsoft Windows Explorer should not be trusted for the management of sensitive documents for law enforcement, health care, national security and other critical industries.

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