Code Yarns ‍👨‍💻
Tech BlogPersonal Blog

Windows Explorer: Why the Refresh?

📅 2010-Jan-27 ⬩ ✍️ Ashwin Nanjappa ⬩ 🏷️ refresh, windows explorer ⬩ 📚 Archive


Bharat was wondering why Windows Explorer needed a Refresh option. Certainly, a modern file viewer is aware of the changes to the files it is displaying without requiring a manual poke?! After all, Apple is so confident of the auto-refresh of Finder on OS X that it does not have the Refresh option! 😊

Not being able to figure out the reason, I asked Raymond Chen. Raymond, with his fantastic The Old New Thing blog has become the wise man on top of the Windows history mountain. Raymond replied pretty quickly:

Probably for similar reasons to the ones that cause people to write OSX extensions, eg.

Not all network drives broadcast updates -- I imagine that would be a performance nightmare in some cases -- so you sometimes might need to refresh manually.

Windows (at least since Vista -- it's been too long since I used XP to remember) does do auto-refresh, which works most of the time and about as well as the one introduced in (IIRC) OSX 10.4 in my experience.