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Desktop Refresh option not working in Windows 11

Desktop Refresh option not working in Windows 11


It can be frustrating if the desktop refresh option is not working in Windows 11. This feature is essential, at times, for keeping your desktop up to date with the latest changes. All you need to do is select the option from the right-click context menu or press F5, and it refreshes the desktop contents to bring up any latest changes, and the desktop is refreshed, the icons usually shake for a moment.

Desktop Refresh option not working

When the refresh option is not working properly, it can disrupt your workflow and make it challenging to manage your files effectively. Therefore, addressing this issue promptly is important to ensure a seamless desktop experience. Here, we offer some effective solutions to resolve this issue and restore the functionality of the desktop refresh option on your system.

Read: What does Refresh Desktop actually do?

Why is the Desktop Refresh option not working properly?

When the Refresh option is not working, it affects both the desktop and the folders. You may also see the usual symbol reflecting when the refresh process fails. There could be several possible reasons for this issue:

  • There’s a glitch with the File Explorer.
  • If the system files are corrupted.
  • Due to a mapped network drive.
  • Interference by OneDrive.

Fix Desktop Refresh option not working in Windows 11

Pressing the F5 key a few times may sometimes fix the issue. Changing your Windows OS to the latest version can also help you fix the issue if the desktop Refresh option is not working. But if that does not help, you can try the troubleshooting methods below to fix the issue:

  1. Restart Windows Explorer
  2. Restore Folder Options to default settings
  3. Run the SFC and DISM scan
  4. Modify the Registry entry
  5. Disconnect the mapped network drive
  6. Disconnect OneDrive temporarily

1] Restart Windows Explorer

Desktop Refresh option not working

The File Explorer is responsible for managing the files and folders and hence, restarting the Explorer will help you to reset it and fix the issue.

To restart the Explorer, open the Task Manager > Windows Explorer > right-click > Restart.

Read: Desktop Not responding or Frozen in Windows

2] Run the SFC and DISM scan

Desktop Refresh option not working

Sometimes, the problem seems to be connected with corrupted Windows system files. In this case, running the SFC utility can help you detect the issue and then repair the broken files or replace them with fresh ones. Following this, you should also run the DISM command to repair the Windows system image and Windows components to get back the desktop refresh option.

Read: Desktop icons not showing in Windows

3] Restore File Explorer Options to default settings

Desktop Refresh option not working

In some cases, misconfigured settings in File Explorer may cause the desktop refresh option to not work properly. In this case, it’s recommended to restore the File Explorer options to default to reset all settings.

So, for this, open the Run console (Win + R), type in control.exe folders, and hit Enter to File Explorer Options window.

Here, under the General tab, click on the Restore Defaults button at the bottom.

Read: Windows Screen keeps refreshing itself automatically

4] Modify the Registry entry

Desktop Refresh option not working

If the desktop refresh option is still not working, modifying certain registry entries can help you fix the issue. However, before you make any changes to the registry editor, make sure to create a backup of the settings. This will help you recover any lost settings in the future.

Now, open the registry editor, and navigate to the below path:


Now, right-click on the Control key > New > Key.

Rename the new key as Update.

Next, navigate the right, right-click on an empty area, select New and then click on DWORD (32-bit) Value.

Rename this value as UpdateMode. Double-click on this value to open the Edit DWORD (32-bit) Value dialog box.

Here, set the Value data field to 0. Press OK to save the changes.

Now, exit the Registry Editor and restart your PC for the changes to be effective.

Read: Desktop, Folder, or Explorer does not refresh automatically

5] Disconnect mapped network drive

Desktop Refresh option not working

If you are using mapped network drives for remote access, that could be one of the reasons why the refresh option is not working properly. In this case, you can disconnect the mapped drive to check if that’s causing the problem.

For this, open the File Explorer, and select This PC or Network.

Now, right-click on the mapped network drive you want to remove and select Disconnect.

Read: Desktop and Taskbar keeps refreshing constantly

6] Turn off Onedrive backup settings temporarily

Desktop Refresh option not working

If you are using OneDrive on your PC, that could sometimes interfere with the Desktop refresh function, therefore causing the issue. Hence, we advise you to disconnect OneDrive temporarily to check if this is causing the refresh option not to work properly.

For this, open OneDrive > gear icon > Settings > Sync and backup > Mange backup > Backup folders on this PC.

Now, turn off backup for all folders and press Save changes.

Read Next: Desktop icons rearrange and move after reboot

Why there is no Refresh option in Windows 11?

The Refresh option in Windows 11 exists but is less prominently displayed. To find it, right-click on the desktop, select “Show more options,” and click “Refresh.” This layout is part of the redesigned context menu to streamline appearance and functionality in Windows 11.

Why my desktop is not refreshing?

Desktop not refreshing could be due to system performance issues or software glitches. To fix it, manually refresh by pressing F5 or right-clicking on the desktop and selecting ‘Refresh’ from the context menu. If the problem persists, check for system updates or consider troubleshooting the desktop’s Windows Explorer process.

Desktop Refresh option not working


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