How to Refresh Your Desktop in Windows

Windows 8 operating systems refresh the desktop screen automatically whenever it detects a change. This generally takes place when a new icon is added, when a file name is modified, or when you uninstall a program that had previously placed an icon on the desktop. However, in some cases, the system does not auto-refresh the screen due to unexpected system behavior, or a delay is caused by slow computer performance. In such cases, you can refresh the desktop manually to update the latest changes applied to your desktop.

Refreshing the screen takes place in real-time (immediately.)
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Step 1

Click or tap the "Desktop" tile from the default Start screen. This hides the contents displayed in favor of the Windows 8 desktop.

Step 2

Right-click any empty area on the desktop to launch the context menu. Alternatively, press your finger on the screen for several seconds (applicable only to touch-based interfaces).

Step 3

Click "Refresh" from the context menu options available. This effectively updates the screen with any recent changes you might have applied.

Tip

You can press "Windows-D" to access the desktop screen.

You may also press “F5” on your keyboard to refresh the desktop screen. This applies to most Windows versions.

Warning

Refreshing the desktop does not speed up or improve overall system performance.

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