How to Fix File Explorer Does Not Refresh Automatically in Windows 11

File Explorer is Windows 11's main file manager. When you delete, rename, move, or copy files or directories, File Explorer may not reload immediately. To see changes, use F5 or right-click and choose Refresh. This is difficult and time-consuming, especially if you work with multiple files and folders everyday. You may wonder why File Explorer does not refresh automatically and how to fix this problem.

In this article, we will explain the possible causes of this problem and show you some effective methods to fix File Explorer does not refresh automatically in Windows 11. These methods will ensure that File Explorer displays the latest updates to your files and folders without delay.

File Explorer Does Not Refresh Automatically in Windows 11

7 Methods to Fix File Explorer Not Refreshing Automatically Windows 11

If you are facing this problem, don’t worry. There are some possible solutions that can help you fix File Explorer does not refresh automatically in Windows 11. In this article, we will show you how to do that step by step.

Method 1: Restart Windows Explorer Process

The first method to fix File Explorer does not refresh automatically in Windows 11 is to restart the Windows Explorer process. This can help resolve any temporary glitches or errors that may be causing the problem. To do that, follow these steps:

  • Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  • In the Processes tab, right-click on Windows Explorer and choose Restart.
  • Wait for a few seconds until Windows Explorer restarts and check if the problem is solved.

Method 2: Restore Folder and Search Options to Default

The second method to fix File Explorer does not refresh automatically in Windows 11 is to restore the folder and search options to default. Sometimes, the problem may be caused by some incorrect or corrupted settings that affect how File Explorer displays and updates the files and folders. To restore the folder and search options to default, follow these steps:

  • Open File Explorer and from the File menu, choose Options.
  • In the General tab, click on the Restore Defaults button.
  • Click on Apply and OK to save the changes.
  • Restart your computer and check if the problem is solved.

Method 3: Reset Quick Access Locations and Clear Recent Files

The third method to fix File Explorer does not refresh automatically in Windows 11 is to reset the quick access locations and clear the recent files. Quick access is a feature that shows you a list of recently visited folders and recently opened files in File Explorer for easy access. However, this feature may also cause File Explorer not to refresh automatically if it contains a location that no longer exists or is not available, such as a network drive or a removable device. To reset the quick access locations and clear the recent files, follow these steps:

  • Remove from Quick Access any network locations that point to a server that is not currently available or to a drive/location that no longer exists.
  • Navigate to %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\AutomaticDestinations by copying and pasting this address in File Explorer’s address bar and hitting Enter.
  • Delete all the files in this folder.
  • Navigate to %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\CustomDestinations by copying and pasting this address in File Explorer’s address bar and hitting Enter.
  • Delete all the files in this folder.

Method 4: Disable Third-Party Shell Extensions

The fourth method to fix File Explorer does not refresh automatically in Windows 11 is to disable third-party shell extensions. Shell extensions are programs that add extra features or functions to File Explorer, such as context menu items, icons, thumbnails, etc. However, some of these shell extensions may be incompatible with Windows 11 or may interfere with how File Explorer works, causing it not to refresh automatically. To disable third-party shell extensions, follow these steps:

  • Download and install ShellExView from this link: https://www.nirsoft.net/utils/shexview.html
  • Run ShellExView as administrator.
  • In the main window, sort the list by Type and look for entries with Context Menu or Icon Handler as their type.
  • Select all the entries that are marked with pink color (these are non-Microsoft shell extensions) and right-click on them.
  • Choose Disable Selected Items from the context menu.

Method 5: Update Your Windows OS

The fifth method to fix File Explorer does not refresh automatically in Windows 11 is to update your Windows OS. Sometimes, the problem may be caused by some bugs or issues that have been fixed in the latest updates from Microsoft. Updating your Windows OS can help improve its performance and stability, as well as resolve any existing problems. To update your Windows OS, follow these steps:

  • Click on the Start button and select Settings.
  • Click on Windows Update and then on Check for updates.
  • If there are any updates available, Windows will automatically download and install them.
  • Restart your computer and check if the problem is solved.

Method 6: Run System File Checker and DISM Commands

The sixth method to fix File Explorer does not refresh automatically in Windows 11 is to run the System File Checker (SFC) and Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) commands. These are two built-in tools that can scan and repair any corrupted or missing system files that may be causing the problem. To run these commands, follow these steps:

  • Press Windows + X keys and select Windows Terminal (Admin) from the menu.
  • In the terminal window, type sfc /scannow and press Enter.
  • Wait for the scan to complete and fix any issues found.
  • Next, type DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth and press Enter.
  • Wait for the command to complete and fix any issues found.

Method 7: Perform a Clean Boot

The seventh method to fix File Explorer does not refresh automatically in Windows 11 is to perform a clean boot. A clean boot is a way of starting Windows with only the essential services and programs running, which can help you identify and eliminate any software conflicts that may be causing the problem. To perform a clean boot, follow these steps:

  • Press Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog box.
  • Type msconfig and press Enter.
  • In the System Configuration window, click on the Services tab.
  • Check the box next to Hide all Microsoft services and then click on Disable all.
  • Click on the Startup tab and then on Open Task Manager.
  • In the Task Manager window, click on the Startup tab and disable all the startup items by right-clicking on them and choosing Disable.
  • Close Task Manager and System Configuration windows.
  • Restart your computer and check if the problem is solved.

If the problem is solved, then one of the services or programs you disabled is causing the problem. You can try to enable them one by one until you find the culprit and uninstall it or update it.

Conclusion

We hope that one of these methods helped you fix File Explorer does not refresh automatically in Windows 11. If none of them worked, you may need to contact Microsoft support or perform a system restore or reset to fix the problem.