Windows Explorer Content Pane Refresh

Posted on 2010-03-22
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-09
We completely skipped Vista and recently started to deploy some Windows 7 units. I'm finding the Windows Explorer file manager intensely frustrating, most of all, the problem that when I am browsing up and down in the left pane folders with arrow keys, the right content pane does not automatically refresh to update the view inside the currenly active folder.

Having to press the enter, space, or f5 key every single time I want to see what is inside the folder I've just navigated to is starting to truly grate on me. Please tell me there is a setting to restore the auto-refresh behavior that was standard in XP. Surely there must be a checkbox somewhere.
Question by:mcj
  • 3
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 28345146
You can solve the problem by resetting the Windows Explorer folder views if what I think has happened is correct.

Can you try to  solve the problem by resetting the folder views by following the steps :  Explorer ->  Organize -> Folder and search options -> View, then click 'Reset  Folders'

Let us know if it sorts you out.

LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 28345340
In case the above doesnt sort you out and my diagnosis was off, this is the other solution. Delete the IconCache.db file and restart your computer. The file is found under

Open in new window

One of the two mentioned techniques should sort you out.


Author Comment

ID: 28376891
I think you are describing something else.

On all Windows XP machines, when you use the up and down arrow in the left pane to move from one folder to another, within a second after moving to a new folder, the right pane updates and shows you the content of the folder that is now highlighted on the left.

On all Windows 7 machines, moving from one folder to another WITH THE ARROW KEYS does not cause the right-side content panel to update.

The behavior in Windows7 is fundamentally different from XP. You seem to be describing a way to "reset" a particular folder view or all foder views (a "layout issue") which is not the problem I'm having.

I cannot for the life of me see why Microsoft changed this. What possible value is there to having the content panel NOT update to show the currently highlighted folder's contents? Why would users be required to hit space, enter or F5?
LVL 10

Accepted Solution

RohitBagchi earned 800 total points
ID: 28424324

That my friend is a"feature" of Windows 7.

I thought you were refering to a problem in which the explorer pane was not updating itself after changes to the files / folders (a problem usually solved by the above methods)

Simplest solution to your issue sadly is to use the mouse instead of the keyboard. The left pane working is "improved" in Windows 7 :)


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