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How to Refresh in Windows 11

Refreshing is one of the most common things we do as Windows users. Generally, we refresh the desktop or File Explorer to update file listing, resolve display glitches, update file listings, etc. On Windows 11, you can refresh in two ways. In this tutorial, I will show you the two methods to refresh Windows 11. You can use the one you like the best. Let’s get started.

What Does Pressing the Refresh Button Do?

When you refresh your desktop or File Explorer, Windows redraws the screen and updates the file list. In browsers, it will reload the web page. Refreshing does not improve your system performance.

For example, if you just deleted, moved, or renamed files and not seeing that change on your screen, refreshing will update the file listing so that the screen reflects the changes.

What Is the Keyboard Shortcut To Refresh

The keyboard shortcut to refresh in Windows is F5. Simply press the F5 key and Windows automatically refreshes the screen.

Note: On some keyboards, you might have to press the ‘Fn + F5’ shortcut.

How to Refresh Your Desktop

To refresh your desktop, minimize all open windows and press the F5 key on your keyboard.

press the F5 key on your keyboard to refresh

Alternatively, right-click anywhere on the desktop and click the Refresh option.

right-click on desktop and select refresh on desktop

As soon as you refresh, Windows redraws the screen and updates file listings. Additionally, if your desktop icons are scattered, refreshing will realign them.

How to Refresh File Explorer

If it is not already open, open File Explorer by pressing the Windows key + E.

In the File Explorer, go to a folder or drive and press F5 to refresh.

Alternatively, click the Refresh icon right next to the address bar on the top bar.

click the refresh icon in file explorer

This will force File Explorer to refresh and update the file listing. For example, if you just renamed a file and are not seeing the change, pressing F5 forces File Explorer to check and update the file listing so that you can see the changes on the screen.

How to Refresh Your Browser Tabs

Refreshing a browser tab reloads the web page in it. To refresh a browser tab, press the F5 key on your keyboard or click the Refresh icon next to the address bar.

browser refresh button

Alternatively, you can also press the Ctrl + F5 shortcut or hold down the Ctrl key and then click the Refresh icon to force refresh the browser tab. Holding the ‘Ctrl’ key while refreshing forces the browser to invalidate the local cache and reload the web page afresh. This keyboard shortcut is very useful when you want to make sure the web page is displaying the latest information and to resolve glitches caused by the local cache.

Change Refresh Keyboard Shortcut

While F5 is a pretty accessible keyboard shortcut, if you are someone who is looking to change or remap it, you can do it using software such as PowerToys or AutoHotKey. Follow the below steps to change the keyboard shortcut to refresh in Windows.

1. First, go to the PowerToys GitHub page, scroll down to the Assets section, and click on the ‘PowerToysSetup-#.##.#-x64.exe’ link to download PowerToys.

2. After downloading, double-click on the installer file and follow the on-screen wizard to install PowerToys.

3. After installing it, open the Start menu, search for PowerToys, and click the top result to open PowerToys.

4. In the PowerToys window, select the Keyboard Manager option on the sidebar.

5. Turn on the Enable Keyboard Manager toggle.

6. Click on the Remap a Key option.

click on remap a key

7. Click the Add Key Remapping button.

click add key remapping button

8. Next, click the Select button in the ‘Select’ column.

click select

9. Press the key you want to use as the refresh key and click OK. For example, I want to use ` (backtick) as the refresh key.

click ok

10. Under the ‘To Send’ column, select Send Key/Shortcut from the first dropdown and then click on Select.

click select

11. Press F5 and click OK.

click ok

12. Click OK at the top of the Remap Keys window.

click ok

13. Click the Continue Anyway button.

click continue anyway

14. Close the PowerToys window.

That is it. You remapped the refresh key/shortcut on your PC. From now on, press the new shortcut to refresh your keyboard. You can still use the old shortcut (F5) to refresh.

If you have any questions, comment below and I will answer and help you.

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