General Refresh Desktop in Windows 11


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Refresh_desktop_banner.png

This tutorial will show you how to manually refresh the desktop for your account in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

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.

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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