General Refresh Desktop in Windows 11


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Refresh_desktop_banner.png

The desktop (Win+D) is your home screen and working space in Windows that contains the taskbar and any icons (ex: shortcuts, files, folders, etc...) you add to and arrange on the desktop.

The desktop is basically just a folder that shows the contents of your %UserProfile%\Desktop folder and the C:\Users\Public\Desktop folder.

Normally when the contents of the desktop changes, it will auto-refresh by default. Sometimes, the desktop does not auto-refresh though, and you may need to manually refresh the desktop.

You may need to manually refresh your desktop if:
  • The desktop does not display files or folders you just created, moved, deleted, renamed, or saved on it.
  • You need to re-align your desktop icons.
  • Contents of the desktop or the folder do not change when expected to.
This tutorial will show you how to manually refresh the desktop for your account in Windows 10 and Windows 11.


Contents



EXAMPLE: desktop

desktop.jpg





Option One

Refresh Desktop using Keyboard Shortcut


1 Click/tap on your desktop (Win+D) to bring it into focus (active).

2 Press the F5 key.

3 You will now see the icons on your desktop flicker to indicate the desktop has been refreshed.




Option Two

Refresh Desktop using Context Menu


1 Right click or press and hold on an empty area on your desktop.

2 Click/tap on Refresh. (see screenshot below)

3 You will now see the icons on your desktop flicker to indicate the desktop has been refreshed.

Refresh_desktop_context_menu.png



That's it,
Shawn Brink


 

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