Old 06-08-2010   #1
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What is the use of 'Refresh' button in desktop context menu?

I would like to ask a question that I have always wondered about. I have seen many people (including computer technicians) clicking the desktop Refresh button repeatedly. I just don't know why they do it. My own idea is that this refresh button 'redraws' the video screen, and that it has nothing to do with the other processes going on inside the computer. Or is there any use for this? When should we use it, then? Thanks for all your ideas.
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Old 06-08-2010   #2
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Re: What is the use of 'Refresh' button in desktop context menu?

Seriously, I have no idea what this should be good for
Normally, the contents of the Desktop (this is simply a folder under Windows) does not change.

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Old 07-08-2010   #3
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Re: What is the use of 'Refresh' button in desktop context menu?

I don´t know how or why, but from time to time some things hang a bit, or simply don´t react as expected...and I click the refresh button...et voilà, everything works again as it shoulda.
An example: if I want to increase or decrease my audio volume and click on the appropriate key I expect to see the volume graphic appear on the desktop...but sometimes it just doesn´t (again I don´t now why). So I click refresh and try again...bingo there is my volume indicator graphic!
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Old 07-08-2010   #4
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Re: What is the use of 'Refresh' button in desktop context menu?

The myth of refreshing the desktop

"Do you refresh your desktop?". Ask this to any Windows user and 99% of them will reply with a "yes". Of course, there are various needs for refreshing the desktop but the majority of people who does it doesn't even know why he is doing it. Refreshing the desktop is perhaps the biggest computer myth among all Windows users.

Every single person I have met does this or at least used to do it. It's not known who first discovered this remarkably useless trick and what he achieved from it, but it just spread. Most new users learn this trick from other new users without caring to know what it does. Some do it devotedly just because others do it, while some others have various weird explanations for it. A few of them assumes that it refreshes the RAM, while some others believe that doing it will somehow keep their PCs running smooth and easy. I have seen some users obsessed with refreshing the desktop, doing it every 30 seconds or so. They have even learnt the keyboard shortcut - F5 (just to mention, these are the people who never use keyboard shortcuts). They would press the key and wouldn't release it for a long time, sending the desktop into a frenzy of refreshes.

What does a desktop refresh actually do? Refreshing the desktop simply redraws the icons on the desktop. That's it! It doesn't refreshes the RAM. It doesn't clean your PC. It doesn't refreshes your computer the way it does to you when you wake up from a nap. Refreshing the desktop has absolutely no effect on the working or performance of the computer. So why is the tool there? As I said, refresh is used to re-display or redraw the icons on the desktop. Sometimes when you bring some changes to the desktop icons, the change doesn't get reflected instantly. In such cases, refreshing the desktop becomes necessary to bring the change to effect. Say, you have the desktop icons set to arrange themselves alphabetically on your desktop. When you add a new item to the desktop, this item wouldn't get arranged alphabetically, instead it would appear at the bottom of icon list on the desktop, irrespective of it's name. Now if you refresh the desktop, all the icons would be once more arranged alphabetically and the newly added item would go to it's appropriate position. This is what refresh is for. It is to re-display the desktop. Refresh has the same function when done in explorer.

So, if you are in the habit of refreshing the desktop, stop it. You are just wasting your time and effort. And the next time you see a person doing it, don't forget to explain to him the futility of this action.

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Old 07-08-2010   #5
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Thanks for evryone who replied, especially to platinumsword. I can't wait to share it with my friends: all of them are compulsive refreshers!
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Old 20-08-2013   #6
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Refreshing a computer is to refresh state of an operation in computer and show its current status. This is same for refreshing on desktop, in windows explorer or any web browser.

More here: http://www.thebinary.in/blog/why-do-...puter-desktop/
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