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Refresh a Finder window to force it to update Desktop
For a year or more, I've been having trouble with application icons frequently not copying when I copy a file from one folder to another in the Finder. I would get a generic icon on the copied file, and have to copy and paste the icon from the original to the copy. The problem persisted after I upgraded to Snow Leopard. I concluded that it was an incurable Finder bug -- no amount of system maintenance would fix it.

Then I found a little free app, Refresh Finder, that solved the problem (there are a few other apps that do the same thing). Rather than restarting the Finder, these apps just refresh the window, and the icons appear as they should on recently-copied files.

As it happens, this window refresh issue has been around for a long time; other manifestations include files moved or copied or downloaded to a folder not showing up. I guess I was just being dense, but I didn't connect the two (mis)behaviors. But they are, it seems, one and the same problem. Anyway, you can drag and drop the Refresh Finder app to the Finder's tool bar to have it handy in every window; just click on it whenever either of these window refresh problems occurs. For me, it is a simple and welcome solution to a vexing problem.

[robg adds: Macworld's Dan Frakes covered Refresh Finder as a Macworld Gems entry a couple years back. As Dan explains in his article, Refresh Finder is a front end to a relatively simple AppleScript:
tell application "Finder"
  tell front window
    update every item with necessity
  end tell
end tell
If you're running Snow Leopard, create a new Service in Automator, set it to work in Finder (receives no input), and then add the Run AppleScript action to your Service. Save your Service, and you can then (using the Keyboard Shortcuts tab of the Keyboard System Preferences panel) assign it a keyboard shortcut. Now you can refresh a Finder window via the keyboard.]
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Refresh a Finder window to force it to update
Authored by: montylee on Oct 02, '09 07:53:12AM

Bad quote symbol in front of Finder--needs to be "Finder"



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Desktop refresh
Authored by: dmmorse on Oct 02, '09 08:32:33AM

The act of hiding and unhiding the dock serves to force a refresh the icons on the desktop. I don't believe this will force a refresh of any other finder Finder window, though.



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Refresh a Finder window to force it to update
Authored by: DistantThunder on Oct 02, '09 09:19:23AM

Yeah, this bug has existed forever. Thanks for the tip!



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Refresh a Finder window to force it to update
Authored by: tedw on Oct 02, '09 11:51:59AM
In case anyone finds it useful, you could save the following script:
on adding folder items to thisFolder after receiving theseFiles
	tell application "Finder"
		update thisFolder with necessity
	end tell
end adding folder items to
and attach it to particular folders that you consistently have trouble with. This should automatically update the folder window (assuming it's open) whenever you add any item to it.

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Refresh a Finder window to force it to update
Authored by: robogobo on Oct 02, '09 02:19:04PM

I've used two folder actions items called "touch" and "nudge" ever since Tiger. I can't remember where I got them.



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Refresh a Finder window to force it to update
Authored by: smilinggoat on Oct 02, '09 04:39:14PM

Is it possible to get Finder to refresh the "Shared" locations in the sidebar? Randomly the shared Win XP computers on my home network will just not show up from time to time.

Any ideas?

Mac OS X 10.5.8



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Refresh a Finder window to force it to update
Authored by: mnb on Jun 17, '13 12:21:18PM

filename changes are not updated in Finder on NFS mounts in 10.7.5. At least not in a remotely timely manner when using mv to change the name.

Workaround:
1) mv to another name
2) cp file to name you want that wasn't working
3) rm name from step 1

That works. It's lame, but it's the only method I've found that works. The AppleScript shown above didn't work.

Finder also hangs on to files removed with rm. ie: it still thinks they're there.



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